Sweden to buy U.S.-made Patriot air defence systems

A Patriot missile system, seen here in Bodo, Norway, in 2005. The Swedish government will reportedly invest over 10 billion Swedish kronor to buy four units of these U.S.-made air-defence weapons. (Andreas Freude/Bundeswehr via Getty Images)
The Swedish government will approve buying the American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system on Thursday.

The deal is said to be worth at least SEK 10 billion. Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist is meeting with Parliament’s defence committee Wednesday to discuss the purchase.

According to reports, Sweden will purchase four units, each with an undisclosed number of missiles. The missiles themselves cost SEK 40 million each.

What the opposition thinks

However, MPs from some of the centre-right opposition parties are critical of the deal, as it stands.

It was at the end of last year that the Swedish Parliament gave the centre-left government permission to purchase the Patriot air defence missile system from the US, pending parliamentary approval.

While the deal does have majority support in Parliament, critics from within the opposition Alliance say that a precondition for going ahead is that more money be allocated to the Swedish Armed Forces.

The purchase is part of Sweden’s efforts to modernise its armed forces amid heightened tensions with Russia.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada extends air defence monitoring zone to entire Canadian Arctic, Radio Canada International

Finland: As Finnish Air Force seeks new fighters, expert weighs options, YLE News

Norway: Norway scrambles F-16 as Russian aircraft train over Kola Peninsula and Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia upgrades Northern Fleet airbase, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish military wants to double in size, Radio Sweden

United States: American fighter jets intercept Russian bombers outside Alaska, Alaska Public Media

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