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Sweden is preparing to sign a contract for the acquisition of Patriot anti-aircraft defense missile systems from the United States’ Raytheon Company.
Sweden faces “a mix of threats” and the country’s current air defense systems is outdated, Swedish Army Software Manager Joachim Levin said in an interview with Swedish radio.
Currently, Sweden is incapable of shooting down ballistic missiles.
Although Sweden is not a member of NATO, it has close ties with the alliance and has been beefing up its defense after decades of neglect after witnessing Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014.
At a cost of $1 billion, the country intends to buy four Patriot firing systems and an undisclosed number of missiles. It has the option to buy 300 missiles, which would bring the price tag up to $3 billion.
“This system has been proven in action … there are a number of other countries that already have it and we expect the first delivery in 2021,” Swedish radio quoted Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist saying.
So far, 15 countries have purchased Patriot systems from Raytheon. Among them are NATO members such as Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and Poland. Neutral Switzerland is also considering Patriot among other systems.