Sweden will reach NATO borders to finance defense.
Now $1.3 billion is invested in the US Patriot weapons system.
– Our security situation has deteriorated and we are working as quickly as possible, says Finance Minister Max Elger (S).
The government is now investing more in strengthening the Swedish air defense with an investment of SEK 1.3 billion.
In Halmstad, there is the Swedish Armed Forces Level 6 Air Defense Regiment, whose task is to protect against air threats. Funds will go to build seven new training and storage halls for the US Patriot air defense system in Halmstad.
– Then it comes to buildings that enable us to receive and use the Patriots. In Halmstad, we will create all conditions for an operation that will receive our new air defense system, says Finance Minister Max Elger (S).
‘Our security situation has deteriorated’
In Sweden, this system is called the 103rd Air Defense System, but it is known internationally as the Patriot. In August 2018, the contract was concluded with the US military and with a bill of approximately 12 billion Swedish kronor, it was one of the most expensive defense investments in Sweden in many years.
In today’s defense, only new aircraft and submarines – the Gripen E and A26 – cost more. With this system, the Swedish air defense can now be considered the most modern in the Nordic region.
– It was a strategic and important decision to order the purchase of Patriot missiles, because it greatly increases our air defense capabilities. I think it is very important that we have the proper facilities and facilities to use them. It is central to Sweden’s defense, Max Elger says.
Thus, it has been planned to start using the system for a long time. But due to the changing external situation, the government now wants to speed up the process.
– Now we are trying to do everything as quickly as possible and it must be seen mainly in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our security situation has deteriorated and we are working as quickly as possible, Max Elger continues.
More investment is expected
The government plans the defense budget to reach 2 percent of Sweden’s GDP. The armed forces estimate that the 2028 goal can be reached.
The fact that the defense budget amounts to at least 2 percent of Sweden’s GDP is also the limit required for a member state to join NATO.
The government recently announced that it will invest heavily in the Gotland Regiment, allocating a total of SEK 1.6 billion for the expansion of the garrison at Tofta.
The new investment in the Patriot system is also part of the work to reach a higher defense budget.
– In many areas, we will need more facilities and facilities to increase defense capacity and expenditures to 2%. Max Elger says I see in front of me that there will be additional investments in the coming years.
Five robots at the same time
The Patriot system was introduced in the USA in the 1980s, but the system purchased by Sweden is the most recently updated version.
The firing unit has a range of about eighty miles, can be loaded with two different robots, track 50 different targets simultaneously and have five different missiles in the air at the same time. The Patriots can eliminate robots, seaplanes, as well as ballistic robots.
Just ballistic robots – which are launched into orbit and then fall towards their targets at extremely high speed – Sweden previously did not have the ability to fight.
With the Patriot, Sweden also has the ability to coordinate air defense with NATO countries that have the same system.
In addition to Sweden, it is used by such NATO countries as the USA, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands.
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