Scania Marks 100 Year Anniversary as Defense Supplier

This month Scania marks its 100th anniversary as a supplier to peacekeeping and defense missions around the world.

For more than 100 years, Scania has supplied technologically advanced vehicles for peacekeeping and defense missions in various countries worldwide. Scania vehicles stem from the company’s modular product system, benefiting from large-scale technology development for civilian applications.

This modularity has many advantages, the greatest of which is its high scope for customization with a limited number of building blocks. The system offers customers an exceptionally wide range of options that enables vehicles to be tailored to any type of transport.

Scania's modular product system was born in the late 1930s and has evolved ever since. Well-known for its flexibility and adaptability for various applications, it is also a basis for easier servicing, parts supply and network training. In recent years this flexibility, along with access to Scania's worldwide service network, has turned out to be a major benefit for peacekeeping forces in service in different parts of the world.


1912: On April 2, the Swedish army commences long-term testing of a Scania-Vabis truck. The verdict? According to Swedish army officials: “The truck coped well with the tests and must be considered well suitable for military use on roads where truck traffic is at all possible.”

1916: The Swedish army orders a four-wheel-drive and four-wheel-steer vehicle from Scania-Vabis.

1916: Scania-Vabis delivers ethanol-powered trucks to the Swedish Ministry of Defense.

1924: Scania-Vabis continues to test alternative fuels (ethanol and producer gas).

1936: Scania-Vabis launches its first diesel engine – the “Royal” unitary engine. This is the first Scania engine to use standardized components and marks the start of the legendary modular product system.

1936: Scania-Vabis starts delivering several hundred engines for tanks to the Swedish army. Spark ignition engines were preferred, for which Scania-Vabis developed a special carburetor that could cope with steep tilt angles.

1939-45: During the second world war, Scania-Vabis, like other heavy industries in Sweden, changes over to produce various types of military equipment, e.g. tanks and industrial engines fitted to other equipment.

1943-46: Scania starts delivering 262 SKPF m/42 armored personnel carriers (APC) to the Swedish army. This vehicle was to become long-lived in service. It was refurbished several times and continued in service on peace-keeping missions for the United Nations into the 2000s.

1949: All engines supplied by Scania-Vabis now have direct fuel injection.

1960-62: A total of 440 Scania-Vabis LA82 6x6 trucks – nick-named the “anteater” – are delivered to the Swedish defense with 10-litre turbocharged engines producing 200 to 220 hp. The high mobility of these heavy-duty off-road trucks was beneficial for example when pulling artillery pieces. Some were equipped as heavy-duty recovery and crane vehicles.

1961: The Scania-Vabis SKPF m/42 APCs are put into service for United Nations peacekeeping forces in Congo (UNOC).

1961: The Brazilian military tests the SKPF m/42 APC.

1962: The Swedish armed forces order 400 engines for generator sets, used for example for aircraft starting, as mobile power stations and for standby power.

1965-71: Around 1,000 Scania L36/L50 medium-duty trucks are delivered to the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV). These 4x2 trucks were powered by four-cylinder engines derived from the six-cylinder 7-litre engine and were often used for mobile refuelling and for transporting field kitchens.

1971: Prototypes of a new generation of off-road vehicles, the SBA111 (4x4) and SBAT111 (6x6), are developed in cooperation with the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV). The vehicles had unusually flexible frames, long suspension travel and, hence, exceptional mobility. To facilitate driving and driver training, a special automatic gearbox with off-road features was developed, which was later adapted for civilian use.

1974: An innovative agreement between Saab-Scania and FMV is signed, stipulating that the supplier is rewarded a more valuable contract if service and maintenance costs are low.

1975: Production starts of a total of some 3,500 SBA111 (4x4) and SBAT111 (6x6) vehicles, of which 2,700 for the Swedish defense.

1976: The Finnish defense orders 34 SBAT111 (6x6) vehicles.

1985: After 25 years in service, the Scania-Vabis LA82 vehicles were still in good working order. More than 300 of the vehicles were re-furbished with hook-lifts to serve as bridge carriers (Ribbon Bridge) for another 15 years of duty.

1986: Scania trucks in use with the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

1986: Scania delivers its first vehicle to a NATO country (Norway) as part of an order for 1,811 vehicles in total, delivered between 1986 and 1996.

1987: Scania delivers 660 of the SBAT111 (6x6) vehicles to India and another 90 to Sweden.

1989: Scania starts to supply engines for the Swedish-built Combat Vessel 90, powered by one or two Scania V8 engines. In total more than 500 propulsion and auxiliary engines have since been delivered to the Swedish marine.

1993: Scania delivers the first serial V8 engine deliveries out of a total of more than 1,000 for the Combat Vehicle 90.

1993: Scania trucks in use with the United Nations Protections Force (UNPROFOR) operation in Bosnia, retrofitted with ballistic protection for the cab.

1996: Scania delivers trucks to the French army for the first time.

1996: Scania starts delivering close to 1,000 engines to power APCs for the Spanish defense.

1998: Scania delivers first NATO-specified vehicles to the Belgian army.

1998: Scania trucks in use with the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in western Sahara (MINURSO).

1999: Scania trucks in use with the NATO led UN-operation in Kosovo (KFOR).

2001: Scania delivers trucks to the Portuguese army for the first time.

2001: Scania for the first time delivers trucks with mine and ballistic protection. Scania trucks in use with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

2001: Scania signs repair and maintenance agreements for the first time with a defense customer, Finland.

2002: Scania delivers trucks to the Australian army for the first time.

2002: The Scania-Vabis SKPF m/42 APC ‘retires’ after 60 years in service.

2003: The Dutch army purchases 555 Scania 8x8 trucks, a large number of them fitted with protection kits.

2004: Scania delivers trucks to the Irish army for the first time.

2004-2013: Scania delivers 700 engines to power APCs for the Polish Army.

2005: Scania trucks in use with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

2005: Scania delivers several hundred engines to power Finnish-built APC.

2006: Scania signs lifetime repair and service contracts for 555 trucks with the Dutch army.

2007: Scania delivers trucks to the Algerian army for the first time.

2007: Scania trucks in use with the European Force (EUFOR) in Chad.

2009: Scania supplies the Finnish army with G-series four-axle all-wheel drive trucks. The agreement includes repair, maintenance and training.

2009: Scania signs a deal for a six-year repair and maintenance agreement covering 200 vehicles previously delivered to the Finnish army.

2009: Scania signs multi-year contract with Finnish defense concerning road-going trucks.

2009: Scania delivers trucks to the German army for the first time.

2010: Scania signs contract for the delivery of 31 complete defense vehicles to Luxembourg, 13 of which with mine and ballistic protection.

2011: Scania delivers trucks to the Turkish army for the first time.

2012: Some 1,500 of the Scania SBA111 and SBAT111 delivered to the Swedish defense remain in operation, 35 years after deliveries started.