Sweden Buys US Missile Defense System Over European Alternative
(Source: Deutsche Welle German Radio; issued Nov 07, 2017)
Sweden said Tuesday that it would enter negotiations to buy an estimated 10 billion krona (€1 billion/$1.2 billion) US-made Patriot air defense missile system over a European-made alternative.
The Patriot system, which uses ground-to-air missiles to shoot down larger missiles and aircraft in-flight, won out over the SAMP/T system made by the Franco-Italian company Eurosam.
The Swedish government aims to receive deliveries of the Patriot missiles, which will replace Sweden's current US-made Hawk air defense missiles, from manufacturer Raytheon starting in 2020 and have the system operational by 2025.
The Swedish government said, "based on this tender and the decision of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) on the proposal to acquire a new medium-range air defense system in the 2018 budget bill, the government will make a final decision on the acquisition during 2018."
The government said its choice to upgrade its existing system was part of its overall effort to build up the country's armed forces after years of budget cuts. The decision to buy a US-made system also aligned with a Swedish-US military cooperation agreement signed in 2016.
Raytheon praised the government's decision, saying "Sweden's announcement brings them closer to joining the growing group of European nations depending on the combat-proven Patriot to defend against ballistic and cruise missiles, and advanced aircraft and drones."
Raytheon, one of the US's largest defense suppliers, has already supplied 13 countries with the Patriot system including Germany and the Netherlands.
The deployment of US missile systems across Europe in recent years has been controversial. Russia has repeatedly criticized them as undermining its security and threatened to deploy more of its own missiles against European targets.
The Government Authorises FMV to Enter into Negotiations with the United States on the Purchase of a New Medium-Range Air Defence System
(Source: Swedish Ministry of Defence; issued Nov 07, 2017)
The Government has today authorised the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to send a Letter of Request to the United States, and to enter into negotiations for procurement of the Patriot air defence system.
The aim of the negotiations is for delivery to have commenced in 2020 and for the system to be operational within the next defence framework period, i.e. by 2025 at the latest. The basis for the decision is the agreement on defence between the Government parties, the Moderate party and the Center party, of 16 August 2017.
The Armed Forces have advocated Patriot as a new air defence system, as it is a proven system with good delivery reliability and anti-ballistic missile capability. The acquisition is also in line with what is expressed in the Defense Policy Bill and adheres to the implementation of the Statement of Intent (SOI), signed by Sweden and the United States in June 2016.
The decision means that the negotiations with the United States can formally begin. A formal tender through a Letter of Offer and Acceptance is expected in spring 2018. Based on this tender and the decision of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) on the proposal to acquire a new medium-range air defence system in the 2018 Budget Bill, the Government will make a final decision on the acquisition during 2018.
FMV Commences Negotiations Regarding Procurement of Patriot Surface-to-Air Missile System
(Source: Swedish Defence Materiel Agency, FMV; issued Nov 07, 2017)
Since the Swedish parliament settled the defence framework decision 2015, the Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF) and FMV have evaluated different systems to enhance the Swedish air-defence capability with a medium range surface-to-air system. The Swedish government has given go-ahead to FMV to commence negotiations regarding procurement of the US Patriot system.
The contract value is estimated to exceed 10 billion SEK.
FMV will hand over a Letter of Request for a government-to-government Letter of Offer and Acceptance to the US embassy in Sweden, marking the starting point for the initial procurement process which will result in the delivery of a detailed offer to the Swedish government.
“What happens next is that FMV will initiate discussions with our US counterparts and wait for them to submit the formal offer. Since this is classified as Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of sensitive defence equipment by the US government, the US congress will be notified of the Swedish purchase,” says Joakim Lewin at FMV.
“We have a tight schedule. At the same time, however, it is important to take the time to make sure all details regarding technology, performance, time and cost end up being correct. This is a major investment in the Swedish defence capability as well as the beginning of a long-term cooperation between Sweden and the USA in the area of surface-to-air defence and our discussions have yet to take place,” Joakim Lewin summarizes.