The price of the new air defense system Sweden intends to buy might be higher. The offer for the Patriot system Sweden has ordered may involve a price of SEK 25 billion instead of the SEK 10 billion mentioned in the previous discussions.
"We have asked the FMV to produce a list of what we want to buy. We have done this to get freedom of action. First, we will have a look at the price of individual parts and then that we can buy in the future, without getting caught up in a new congress decision in the United States", says Joakim Lewin, planning officer for air defense at the FMV.
When it was decided last fall that Sweden would negotiate for the purchase of US Patriot as a new air defense system, a cost of over SEK 10 billion was mentioned for a purchase of four batteries with radar and launchers that can protect four areas.
From the Swedish request for an offer that can be approved by the United States Congress at an early date, Sweden wishes to get a price including 200 PAC3 missiles to meet Russian ballistic Iskander missiles and 100 simpler missiles.
Such a large number of missiles are estimated to cost SEK 15 billion, according to FMV. But Sweden will not buy that many, all to get a reasonable base cost and then incrementally buy more missiles.
Joakim Lewin still hopes for a price of just over SEK 10 billion, but the question is how many missiles Sweden will receive.
"It's not entirely without missiles. Then the system would be quite meaningless. But on the other hand, it's most important to get started with training the troops", says Joakim Lewin. If, for example, Sweden buys 150 missiles, the total price could be SEK 17-18 billion.
One option to keep the price down is that Sweden does not buy four launchers for the two battalions, but only three.
However, in the long term only three instead of four areas in Sweden could be protected from possible Russian missile attacks.
“Of course, it may be so. When we see prices, we must make the best possible solution and see if it is still meaningful", says Joakim Lewin.
Critics have suggested that a French-Italian air defense system, SampT, would be less expensive and better. FMV confirms that their basic bids with four units and a number of [missiles] were approximately SEK 8.5 billion.
However, according to FMV, the Patriot fits better in combination with the Gripen fighter and the air defense systems already purchased.
"But with the threat level and the demands defined by the Armed Forces, Patriot became a better option", says Joakim Lewin.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The figures provided to Swedish authorities allow the cost of a Patriot system to be estimated at around $250 million for a battery, and an additional $6 million for each PAC-3 MSE missile.)