Swedes believe that domestic submarine construction is a strategic necessity
Kym Bergmann / Stockholm
Speaking to a group of visiting Australian journalists, Sweden’s Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist described the domestic construction of submarines as a vital part of the country’s security policy. He said that Sweden would increase its Defence budget, with the agreement of all six of the country’s main political parties, with an emphasis on the local construction of Gripen aircraft and at least two more A26 conventional submarines.
He outlined a changed security environment in the Baltic region, with a far more aggressive Russia annexing Crimea and being involved in the Ukraine conflict. When asked about possible cooperation with Australia for SEA 1000, he confirmed the strong interest of the Government in finding international partners with whom Sweden could cooperate in the development of advanced products.
The Minister explained that Sweden is the country best placed to equip its Navy with the most appropriate submarine, saying only through a local build would it be possible to meet necessary performance parameters at an acceptable cost.
(A full version of this story will appear in March APDR. The author travelled to Sweden as a guest of Saab)