The Museum of Vehicles, Srängnäs, Sweden : 'Arsenalen'

Strängnäs, nice quiet town of 13,000 inhabitants on the shores of Lake Mälaren, 100 km West of Stockholm, is the oldest in Sweden, with its medieval quarter and the Cathedral (1291), which contains the burials of several kings of Sweden.

This city was chosen to build the new museum 'Arsenalen' or 'Försvarsfordonsmuseet' (Museum of Defense Vehicles) or simply 'Fordonmuseum' (Museum of Vehicles) inaugurated in 2011. It is compound by the gathering of Axvall Tank Museum and Museum of Military Vehicles of Malmköping and about 70 armored and logistics vehicles. Reserves house 100 additional vehicles that are exposed in turn each year.

Manager, Stefan Karlsson, had kindly opened to me the doors of the warehouses in 2010 before the museum opened. It is with pleasure I saw him again in 2013 and I visited the new museum.

The vehicles on display extend over a period from the early 19th century today. The collection focuses primarily on the Swedish vehicles but also has many foreign vehicles, whose the technical developments can be well perceived. Sweden has 9 % of lakes and the country is covered by forests separated by mountains, swamps and snow impassable to tanks, particularly the North. Swedish R & D always gave priority to the mobility factor over the shield. Articulated prototypes of the 80’s, well ahead of their time, were issued from researches from the 60-70s.

The vehicles museum are government-owned but the museum depends on the private foundation ' National Museum of Military History ' (SFHM, Statens Försvarshistoriska Museer), which distributes operating funds. Much of the work is done by volunteers during demonstrations.

Open days, conferences and weekend tests are the festive occasion for exhibitions of equipment, where you can drive vehicles. Even children are not forgotten as they can drive too small crawlers. Temporary exhibitions are held in the highest part of the museum as one of Raoul Wallenberg in 2013.



Fordonsmuseum of Strängnäs


Stefan Karlsson, Manager of the museum


The men of the museum, often volunteers



Hägglunds & Soner, Pbv 301 armored personnel carrier, Sweden, 220 units built from 1961 to 1963, in service from 1961 to 1971. 150 hp, 45 km/h, 11.7 t, Bofors 20 mm, 8 + 2 crew.


A Centurion tank arrives on a transport platform Scania-Vabis 143H to demonstrate the weekend ahead.


Hägglunds & Soner, IKV 91 tank destroyer, Sweden, 220 units built between 1975 and 1978, 330 hp, 16.3 t, 65 km/h, 6.5 km/h in water.


Tank Stridsvagn (Strv) M/21-LK II, 10 t, 50 hp, 16 km/h, after 85 hp and 18 km / h is a German design but looked like the English Whippet tank. 10 copies were bought to Germany in 1921, imported as "tractor parts". In 1923, five copies participated in trials whose primary purpose was the mobility. They remained in service until 1939. A copy is in the Museum of Munster, Germany. 

A tank of this type is being restored at Arsenalen Museum, Strängnäs. It remains the body to be prepared and lifted. The whole tank will be ready in June 2018 for events of summer.The test drive is here :


Carden-Loyd Mk V Vickers Armstrong light tank, Great Britain, 450 built in England, 2 ordered in 1926 and delivered in 1931. In 1939, they were given to the Army Museum.


Stridsvagn (STRV) FM/28 tank Renault NC 27 purchased in France for trials in 1928. It appeared that the transmission and the tracks whose reliability didn’t favor additional purchase and Sweden took the decision to develop a new tank itself. This tank is the only survivor of this type.


Stridsvagn ( STRV ) FM/31wheel-cum-track tank was designed in 1931 by Landsverk , Sweden, and based on a German design of the 20s. 150 hp, 11.5 t, 75 km/h on road, 35 km/h off-road. The combination of wheels and tracks would allow high speeds on roads and good performance in rough terrain, but the design was complex and the system vulnerable. The tests took place in 1935-36, but newer models already made ​​it obsolete at delivery. This model was used for training charioteers until 1940.


Pansarbil, armored car FM/29 Oskarsham built in 1932 by Landsverk, Sweden. Four wheel drive and steer with the same speed in each direction with a rear driver. Only one copy was built because of the price and too large dimensions. Its service lasted until 1946.


Battle Tank I, SdKfz 101, built at 1160 units by Henschel, MAN, Krupp - Gruson and Daimler- Benz from 1934 to 1936 in Germany, last used by Spain until 1954. This model arrived in Sweden shortly after the WW II.

T 37 vinter1

T 37 Vinter. This picture was taken in 1940 after it arrived to Sweden from Finland. It is fitted with a winter camouflage but it is the same one as on display in the museum of Strängnäs. See below the T 37 as it is nowadays. Stefan Karlsson Archives.


TU Amphibious Tank T37, built 1,200 units between 1933 and 1936 by Factory No. 37 in the former Soviet Union, 3.2 t, 35 km/h, 40 hp.




M/38 Tank of Landswerk, Sweden, built 200 units in 1938 /39. 142hp, 8.5 t, 45 km/h. 16 copies were used in Sweden from 1938 to 1957.


M/37 Tank of 1937. This is the Czech model AH- IV T. Modern for its time, it remained in service until 1953.


M/31 armored car built by Bofors, 32 units on a truck chassis Volvo & Chevrolet from 1931 to 1940. The M/31 remained in service until 1958. 60 km/h, 4.2 t.


Armored car M/40 Landsverk Lynx / Volvo built in 1939 to 30 units, came from a Danish specification. The road performance was limited due to the weight. 4 wheel drive and steering and a driver at each end allowed equal speed in both directions. They were in service until 1958. 135 hp, 8,7 t, 70 km / h.


Overview : - M/40L-LS III Tank 1941-1942 of Landsverk , Sweden, 100 built.

- M42 Tank, 1943-1945, by Landsverk and Volvo. 282 were built. This was the only heavy tank in Sweden during World War II. The modern design was still quickly exceeded. Became Ivk 73 after modifications, it remained in service until 1965. 380 hp, 22.5 t, 42 km/h.

- M42 SKP 'KP'' Armoured Truck 4x4 Scania-Vabis AB, 1944-46, 300 built. They were withdrawn from service in 2004 after 60 years of loyal service.


Half-Track M16 of White Motor Company, USA, built 50,000 units in 1942-43, a figure that includes all types of track Half-Track of  White, Autocar, Diamond, International Harvester. Used until 1999, tracks resumed the system Kégresse of the 20s. 148 hp, 9 t, 70 km/h.


M/41 Tank ordered in 1939 in Prague and delivered in 1942-43 by Scania-Vabis (under license). Despite its leaf springs and riveted frame, he had good off-road performance and excellent reliability. The M/41 M/43 was rebuilt in 1959 /60. The museum here converted M/43 into a M/41.


Tank T-34-85. The T-34 dates from 1940, but the T-34-85 with a new gun entered service in 1944 and was manufactured, all types, at 84,000 copies until 1950. It remained in service in many countries until the 90s. 500 hp, 32 t, 55 km/h.



- 138/2 Hetzer Tank. The first German tanks became obsolete and were rebuilt as Hetzer, made in 1943-45 by BMM & Skodawerke, Czechoslovakia, based on the 38 t Czech. Tank destroyer, it was very mobile with a low silhouette. After the war, he was made ​​by Switzerland under the name G-13. 16 t, 42 km/h, 2800 were built.

- Gear guided explosive 302/303 Goliath Borgward, Zündapp, Zachertz built in 1942-43 at 7800 copies, all types. The engineer Adolphe Kégresse had built a similar machine in the 30s.

- Sdkfz 131 Marder II tanks destroyer, 600 built or converted by Famo, Man, Daimler- Benz in Germany from 1942 to 1944. 140 hp, 40 km/h, 10.8 t. This copy came to Sweden for trials in 1946.


Sherman tank built 6748 units from 1942 to 1945 but the number all types, we arrive at a figure of 50,000. 34 km/h, 30.3 t. The gun and the shield was too low but their number very high.


Universal Carrier Mk I, 1940-1945, built by Vickers Armstrong at 80,000 copies. 85 hp, 4 t, 48 km/h.


Tank destroyer M/43 built by Landsverk, Sweden, between 1946 and 1948 to 87 copies. 380 hp, 23 t, 45 km/h. Modified in 1963-64, they remained in service until 1970.


Anti-aircraft vehicle FM/43 of Landsverk, Sweden, built between 1947 and 1949 to 17 copies. 390 hp, 36 km/h, 5.9 t. It was decommissioned in 1969.


Self-propelled gun 151 prototype 1960 of Bofors / Landsverk, 51 t, 700 hp, 55 km/h.


- Centurion Tank MK10, Strv101, built from 1959 to 1960 in the Royal Ordonnance, GB, of which 400 copies were exported to Sweden from 1953 to 1964. 650 hp, 35 km/h, 52 t. Decommissioned in 2001 and replaced by the Leopard tank.
- 91 Armored mono-wheel fuel trailer manufactured by the Royal Ordonnace, GB, and used in Sweden for the Centurion tank. It contained 900 l of fuel, 2t, autonomy increased from 110 to 290 km.


Infantry Vehicle Ikv 91 of Hägglunds & Soner, Sweden, amphibian, armed. It was manufactured from 1975 to 1978 to 212 copies. 330 hp, 16.3 t, 65 km/h, in water 6.5 km/h.


S Tank, 103 C, amphibian, Sweden. In 1956, the designer Sven Berg presented a new draft tank whose gun was mounted directly to the chassis, allowing a very small and very low shape, so very little visible and vulnerable. The hydraulic suspension pointed the gun. However, the tank was forced to stop to shoot, which was less the case competitors tanks that could shoot moving on. This tank was manufactured by Bofors, between 1967 and 1988, 290 units, retired in 2001. 490 hp, 42.3 t, 48 km/h.


Chieftain Tank, GB.




T72 and BMP-1 of the former Soviet Union.


Troop Carrier Pbv -302 camouflaged.


Hägglunds BV 210 articulated amphibious vehicle is produced by Land Systems Häggluds of Sweden, part of BAE System (England), 5 t, 65 km/h, 5 km/h in water, 275 hp. M8 ' Greyhound ', Daimler Ferret Mk 2.


Leopard Tank 2S Stridsvagn 122, from Germany, in service in Sweden.

34-IKV 103.jpg

Ikv 103 vehicle of Swedish Support Infantry built by Landswerk, with 105 mm gun.


Broken tank for teaching.


Udes XX -20 articulated prototype built by Hägglunds and Bofors, 24 t, Scania 500 hp, was a really off-road vehicle, especially in snowy areas and marshes of Northern Sweden . Low ground pressure, thanks to length, direction by articulation whose power loss was only 2 % against 20% with a skid steering vehicle. The positive pitch control allowed crossing major obstacles but also making turns in place as a classic tank. For Sven Berge, creative designer, this concept has no defaults even if the interior was divided in two parts and the price highest. The merit of Sweden was to design this new concept and especially to build a prototype. Nevertheless, the project will be canceled because of the price but not technical reasons. Picture of  Stefan Karlsson in 2009 after the arrival of the prototype at Strängnäs.


Udes XX-20, 1980. Swedish engineers had already produced the BV202 and Bv206, articulated vehicles whose they were the precursors. Studied and tested in the 60s and 70s, they were not then series produced. Photo in the warehouses, 2010 04.











From left to right and top to Bottom : Four Wheel Drive FWD Model B, Clintonville , USA, used by the Americans during World War II in Europe. Made between 1917 and 1920 to 25,000 units. Ford Model T, produced 15 million units between 1908 and 1927. AB Volvo B12, 1939, as a mobile radio for the Government, one built.


Tempo Vidal & Sohn, Hamburg, built from 1936 to 1943 and ordered between 200 and 400 copies by Sweden . Tubular frame, two engines and four-wheel steering, coil spring suspension without shocks absorbers. Klöckner-Humboldt Deutz AG A 3000, Terrängbil M/42M truck : in 1943-44, Sweden ordered  about 600, used until the early 60s.


Volvo TLV131/TLV141 Terrängbil M/42, Sweden, about 800 built in 1943-1949. Volvo POS M/43, Sweden, manufactured ​​from 1943 to 1946 to 210 copies, 84 hp, 2,3 t.


TL31 Volvo with a crane troubleshooting 4t, 6x6. 920 units built from 1956 to 1962. The truck overturned and repaired in this interesting scenery is a Volvo 6x6 TL22, 857 units built between 1954 and 1959. Mass 5,7 t, 75 km/h, 105 hp.


TL31 Volvo 6x6 cargo and personal truck ' Lastterrängbil 934 ' (LTGB 934), with 50 years of active service. A four-wheel drive trailer can be connected to the truck, thus creating a 10x10. Pict. in warehouses, 2010 04.


3304 Volvo 'PV- Jeep' built in 360 copies in 1963-64. 93 km/h, 1.57 t, 65 hp.


Volvo L 3314 and L 3314 PU 'Laplander', 1961-1970. 96 km/h, 65 hp, 1.57 t.


Bandvagn Hägglunds BV206. Its mobility is legendary : low ground pressure and direction without loss of power. The positive pitch control allows crossing obstacles. The BV 202 Volvo has showed the way for mass production of articulated vehicles and the BV 206 is adopted by many armies. This type of vehicles is increasingly produced in the world, especially in Singapore, Russia, Finland.

The small tracked vehicle is for driving vehicles by children and a modified RBY Mk1 IAI, 1975, from Israel, is used by the museum to transport visitors to the open day. Finally, a tractor with field kitchen :


Overview of Volvo Laplander. On the left, the instruction tank.



M28 articulated tractor. Photo in the warehouses, 2010 04.


M28 articulated tractor built under license Pavesi in Sweden by Nohab Trollhattan. 4-cylinder Scania-Vabis 60 hp and 92 hp six-cylinder. The M28 tractor was produced 15 units between 1925 and 1930 and the M28 F 10 units in 1931. They were withdrawn from service in 1946-1947. Arttrak M28 Volvo vehicle seen here at Torhälla Festival, June 30, 2012. Photo : Lars Johnson.  and the photo below right :


Amphibious Stalwart. In the Swedish Armed Forces has been called Alvis Stalwart Amfibiebil 101 in service from 1962 to 1985. 34 copies were used by coastal defense units for the transport service in the archipelago. See :


Artillery Tractor Scania-Vabis LA 82 60s. 220 hp, 10 t in winch, payload 4800 kg. Photo in the warehouses, 2010 04.


Artillery Tractor Scania-Vabis LA 82 : view from the inside.


Articulated vehicle Volvo BM Bandvagn BV202. 35 km/h, water 7 km/h. Built at Avrika, Sweden, from 1964 to 1981, it was designed to move on snow and bogs in Northern Sweden, where he excelled. Used by several armies, it was the first series produced articulated vehicle. Photo in the warehouses, 2010 04.


Volvo C304 6x6, 1975. Photo in the warehouses, 2010 04.


Volvo PV 444 in the 40s and 50s, produced 200,000 units. Photo in the warehouses, 2010 04.


X- Musen, experimental articulated vehicle of the 60s with a rotating arm 360 ° to each wheel vehicle. Amazing ! Photos in warehouses 2010 04.


Figurines 1809-1844 Charles XIV (1818-1844). The museum also shows very beautiful collection of figurines of the Army during ages.


Figurines 1844-1872, Oskar I (1844-1859) to Charles XV (1859-1872).


Figurines (1872 to 1907), Oscar II.