STOCKHOLM, ($1=9.13 Swedish Kronas) – It took the Swedes a month to bring their first surface-to-air missile [SAM] Patriot, armed with PAC-3 MSE missiles, into full combat readiness, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing the Polish portal Defense24. But the Swedes will need several years to fully integrate American SAMs into a unified air defense system, the portal also writes.
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The news was officially announced by the Swedish Ministry of Defense, recalling that their first American battery SAM Patriot was delivered in mid-November this year.
Sweden currently has three Patriot launchers in the PAC-3 + / PDB-8 configuration, designed to launch PAC-2GEM-T and PAC-3MSE missiles. But Sweden is expected to receive three more Patriot SAM batteries by 2025, and how long it will take to bring them into combat readiness is still unknown.
In addition, according to the authors of Defense24, the Swedes still have to enroll their patriots in a unified air defense system.
In particular, until all four Patriot batteries are delivered, the Swedish Armed Forces will be forced to continue using the modernized Cold War MIM-23 complex, which has received the Swedish designation RBS 97.
In addition, the Swedish military wants to use its Patriot SAM as part of the country’s integrated air defense system, which will also include organic Rb98 medium-range systems, Rb23 short-range systems, and Gripen fighters that will be able to exchange data via the Communication System. of NATO – link 16.
But for this, Sweden must carry out a major modernization of its radar system, the cost will be equivalent to 230 million USD, the service life – up to 5 years.
Until now, the Swedish army had portable RBS 70 surface-to-air missiles and RBS 97 missiles [Swedish improved version of the American MIM-23 Hawk]. Also, delivery of the Patriot PAC-III system marks the start of a “new era,” said General Karl Engelbrektson, Swedish Army Chief of Staff on November 24.
“It’s a big day for the Swedish armed forces. We are given a new capability to counter ballistic missiles and SAM Patriot improves our air defense capability in very concrete ways. I can now announce to the Minister of Defense that what is called his Initial Operational Capability [IOC] will be delivered at the end of the year,” General Engelbrektson said in November.
The region where the Lv 6 Patriot PAC-3 batteries will be deployed has not been specified. Until then, it has been argued that at least two will be used to bolster the defense of Götland Island, dubbed the Baltic “aircraft carrier” because of its strategic position.
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