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Sweden’s Defence – Strengths and Weaknesses

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It is commonly believed that Sweden will strengthen the NATO alliance’s overall defence and deterrence posture, especially as it relates to securing northeastern Europe. Here are its strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths

  • 1. Highly Developed Submarines: Sweden produces advanced stealth submarines, notably by Saab, enhancing its naval capabilities.
  • 2. Own Fighter Jet Production: Sweden’s production of its own fighter jets, such as the Saab Gripen, provides a significant strategic advantage.
  • 3. AI Integration in Warfare: Ongoing research focuses on integrating artificial intelligence for better information management and decision-making in combat.
  • 4. Autonomous Systems Development: Emphasis on developing autonomous systems like drones to augment its defence capabilities.
  • 5. Modernization of Weapon Systems: Investment in next-generation weapons systems, improving long-range strike capabilities.
  • 6. International Engagements: Participation in international exercises, indicating a robust international defence strategy and partnership with NATO members.
  • 7. Total Defence Strategy: Adoption of a comprehensive total defence strategy, including cyber defence and mobilization strategies.
  • 8. Naval Focus on Baltic Sea: Strategic positioning and focus of the Navy in the Baltic Sea and Swedish archipelago, vital for regional security.
  • 9. Innovative Defence Projects: Involvement in international defence projects, such as Project Tempest, indicates a forward-looking approach to defence technology.

Weaknesses

  • 1. Reduction in Defence Post-Cold War: Post-Cold War defence downsizing led to a reduction in defence capabilities, including a decrease in the number of hardened defences and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
  • 2. Historical Neutrality Challenges: Sweden’s long tradition of neutrality poses challenges in adapting to modern defence and security alliances.
  • 3. Limited Use of Drone Technology: Currently, the Swedish Armed Forces does not extensively use drone technology, which is increasingly crucial in modern warfare.
  • 4. Outdated Army Equipment: Much of the Swedish Army’s equipment dates back to the 1970s, necessitating upgrades to keep pace with modern warfare demands.
  • 5. Limited Ground Force Mobility: Challenges in ensuring the mobility of ground forces for operations in cooperation with allies, especially in forward defence scenarios.
  • 6. Naval-Air Force Integration: Need to evolve the operational integration between the Air Force and Navy, especially as they operate at greater distances.
  • 7. Small Size of Armed Forces: The relatively small size of Sweden’s armed forces could be a limitation in large-scale conflicts.

Read also: Sweden Is Getting Fit For NATO

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