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Destroyed MT-LB armored vehicle in Sweden

From August to November 2008, I was involved in the Swedish Armed Forces as a soldier within the Home Guard (Hemvärnet), similar to army reserve units and territorial units in armed forces worldwide. At that time, I aspired to become full-time employed within the Swedish military to be able to work as staff in peace-keeping and peace-enforcement operations, such as those under United Nations leadership and mandates. 

I took these photos in October 2008 during exercises in Oerebro (Örebro) area since I was stationed at one military facility in a place called Villingsberg. In this area, the famous Bofors company, producer of weapons and military equipment, was established at the end of the 19hth century. There is also a shooting range, and the testing ground still used by the Swedish military.

These photos are interesting because the Soviet Union made the armoured vehicle under the name MT-LB – an abbreviation for “multirole tracked light armoured vehicle”. 800 MT-LB were bought by the Swedish government in 1992 from Germany when the Cold War ended.

This purchase was not done in order to be used for target practising and explosive testing but to be used by Swedish army mechanised brigades as part of the post-Cold War military reforms, which led to Sweden buying MT-LB and other armoured vehicles that used to belong to the former East German army. 

MT-LB became a SAF military vehicle during the 1990s. It was renamed to ATV-401 (PBV -401 in Swedish, meaning armored tracked vehicle) and was used during UN- and NATO-led peacekeeping missions as in Kosovo. From the book “Svenskt Pansar. 90 år av svensk fordonsutveckling”. 

I do not have primary information why the following MT-LB was destroyed. One thing I do know is that Swedish MT-LBs or Pbv-401s were disbanded from service after 2010. Thereby, certain Pbv-401s came to be used as targets and for other live-fire exercise purposes.

Exercise ground and forest area in middle Sweden.


Blown out turret

This MT-LB was probably hit by exercise rounds for recoilless rifles

Front part and engine

During night-time

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