Continued Imbalances – The Swedish Defence Forces towards 2030

The long-term planning of the Swedish Defence Forces, SVFM, has been in quite some flux during recent years. The short version of a complex dynamic is that prior to Crimea the Swedish Defence Forces were focusing rather heavily on international missions and peacekeeping abroad, including serious contributions to a number of missions in Europe and Africa, as well as in Afghanistan. Following Crimea the homeland defence mission again took centre-stage, and a growth process was started.

The latest plans describe growth when it comes to the Army, relative stagnation for the Air Force, and a slow decline for the Navy.

A bit of background is needed to understand exactly which papers we are looking at. Last spring the parliamentary working group for defence (Försvarsberedningen) that was tasked with developing a long-term plan for how to grow the Swedish Defence Forces broke down, as in the final stages it became clear that while everyone was in agreement on the plan itself, the ruling Social Democratic party refused to confirm their willingness to fund it. Upon this, the centre-right opposition refused to sign the final report “Värnkraft“, though they still agreed with the way forward presented by the document. This has led to an unresolved political quarrel, and as cherry on top leadership of the SVFM is not particularly keen on all details in Värnkraft.

The events got complicated yet further with the SVFM returning the supporting budgetary documents in February this year outlining what they would be able to do during 2021 to 2025 (with the period 2026-2030 being broadly described as well). The government in turn wasn’t happy with these plans, and SVFM got the order to redo the plans earlier this summer, and this time with a list of which projects were not to be touched. The new supporting documents were published last week, and include some key changes to the schedule, and it is these that I am going to open up in this post.

(As this is a long one, feel free to scroll to whatever part interests you)

The Swedish Air Force

The Swedish Air Force had originally planned to phase out the current generation JAS 39C/D Gripen-fleet rather quickly (it is a bit more complicated than that, but for the sake of brevity let’s pretend this was the whole story). This has now changed, and the current Gripens will be kept in service alongside the JAS 39E Gripen up until 2030 (possibly beyond that). This allows the Air Force to keep operating six squadrons of multi-role fighters. In the period 2026 to 2030 the preliminary work on the future air combat capability will kick off in earnest (though Saab is quick to state that current cooperation as part of/together with Team Tempest does not mean that 39E will be phased out anytime soon). To keep the fighter fleet up to date, a new reconnaissance pod is to be acquired before 2030, and advanced munitions will also be acquired in the 2026 to 2030 time span. The February documents included an explicit mention of Sweden acquiring a long-range cruise missile to the Gripen-fleet, but this has been removed from the July version (likely due to a lack of funds).

Another thing that has been pushed back is the replacement of the ASC 890, the current Swedish AEW&C platform. This is based on the Saab 340 propliner equipped with the Erieye-radar, and in February the plan was to replace these old airframes before 2030. Under the current plan, the replacement process is “begun” before 2030.

Something that apparently will keep going forever is the Swedish fleet of first-generation C-130 Hercules. Sweden operates six C-130H (originally delivered in the mid-60’s as C-130E) under the Tp 84 designation, with the aircraft being amongst the oldest still operational in Europe. These will now undergo a serious overhaul to get more flight-hours out of them, with no replacement being planned before 2030.

Another veteran is the Saab 105 (Sk 105), which is used for training. The old jets have started to show signs of their age, including having been temporarily grounded in both Swedish and Austrian service late last year. A new modern turboprop trainer is to be acquired for basic training before 2025, with the 39D getting a larger role in the advanced training syllabus.

The helicopter force will continue to use the current equipment (with assorted updates during the next decade), but will be reorganised into four wartime squadrons. Changes to operational doctrine and the support function will also make them better suited to support the Army and Navy in a high-end conflict. The unique Swedish naval version of the NH 90, the Hkp 14F, will receive some important changes, though the exact nature and timeline of these are more obscure in the July papers than they were in February. It is no secret that integration of tactical naval datalinks and the new light-weight torpedo (NLWT/Torped 47) is high on the wish-list.

Other organisational changes are also to be rolled out, including splitting up the fixed-wing heavies into individual squadrons based on their roles, as well the (re)forming of the F 16 Upplands flygflottilj as an independent air wing. It is unclear to me if and to what extent these changes will impact how the SwAF operates, and to what extent it is a question of administration.

The Swedish Navy

The Swedish Navy was the one to draw the short straw in Värnkraft, and the July documents further reinforce this. In February two new surface ships were to be operational before 2030, which would replace the ageing Gävle-class, with the construction on vessels three and four of the new series also being started before 2030. Ships three and four have now been pushed past 2030, by which time the Swedish Navy’s surface warfare vessels will be five Visby-class corvettes (launched between 2000 and 2006) and two modern corvettes. The Visby-class will start rotating through their MLU between 2021 and 2025, which will include getting air-defence missiles, the Torped 47 replacing the current Torped 45, and a new anti-ship missile (Saab RBS15 Gungnir‎ not being mentioned but certainly the most likely candidate). This will allow them to serve until 2040, by which time they will be 35 to 40 years old. Those that remember the last two sentences of the text will realise that if the Visby-class is to retire in 2040 and the building of it’s replacement hasn’t even started by 2030, that leaves less than ten years in which to build the replacement class.

A key decision which also will impact the Navy heavily is that the work on converting the current base structures so that in wartime there would be two mobile units responsible for maritime logistics (i.e. allowing for dispersed basing in the archipelago) has been delayed in the July papers.

For the marines the situation is looking better. One of the main roles of the Swedish marines is the coastal anti-ship mission which they handle with a version of the anti-tank HELLFIRE-missile. This will be replaced by a new system (a new heavy missile system will also replace the current truck-mounted RBS 15). The marines will also get a new man-portable surface-to-air missile, as well as Minigun 7.62 mm gatling machine guns for their vessels. On the flip side, the earlier announced second marine battalion (Amf 4) will be delayed from 2022 to 2025. There will also be less funding available to replace the boats of the marines, which is bad news as the majority of the Stridsbåt 90 (and some larger vessels) are starting to reach the age when small aluminium hulls usually are retired. However, a boat-mounted mortar system is to be in service by 2030.

The Swedish Army

The Army is the one seeing the biggest organisational changes. For a brief primer, I recommend my old post on the Swedish wartime order of battle, which roughly corresponds to the current baseline.

Starting from the top, the divisional level of command is brought back in the form of the 1. Division. The division will not be of fixed composition, but instead will be a command function with certain higher level assets. This “modular HQ”-model is not completely unlike the current Swedish brigade HQ’s, and will be needed as the size of the Army grows to a point where a single brigade HQ no longer is able to effectively direct all units involved in a single battle. At the same time, the Army headquarters should not have tactical responsibilities, and as such the higher tactical level is brought back into the force structure.

Artillery

Perhaps the most visible new equipment will be the acquisition of divisional artillery. I spent quite some time on the blog discussing higher-level fires in my earlier series on the future of Finnish fires. The current Swedish plans are still to be nailed down, but currently it seems like 12 new guns will be acquired in the 2026 to 2030 time-span (i.e. a battalion under Swedish doctrine), but the SVFM is also seriously contemplating acquiring a proven multiple rocket system (of which quite a few are found on the market).

Artillery in general will receive a boost, with all 48 Archers being included in the wartime organisation, as well as a second artillery regiment being created in the central parts of Sweden (most likely A 9 Bergslagens artilleriregemente will reform in Kristinehamn). Considering the three brigade force envisioned, it’s still not exactly an artillery-heavy force, but coupled with the introduction of self-propelled mortars the Swedish Army will have a serious increase in indirect firepower available by 2030.

Special Forces

The special forces are also seeing changes. The most visible is that AJB, the Swedish Army Ranger Battalion, which is currently subordinated to I 19 in Boden will become an independent regiment through the reformation of K4 Norrlands dragonregemente. The battalion will transform from a Jägarbataljon (ranger battalion) to a Norrlandsjägarbataljon (Norrland ranger battalion), and a second battalion will be added to the regiment starting in 2025 and being fully operational by 2030. The Norrlandsjägarbataljon is an old designation from the Cold War-era when Sweden operated two different kinds of ranger battalions, the NjBat and their southern cousin Jägarbataljon Syd (ranger battalion south), which differed mainly in equipment choices. However, these battalions had very different doctrines compared to the current unit, as was explained in a guest post by Jägarchefen a while back:

The battalions were given a geographical area, which was further divided into company-, platoon-, and squad areas. Within these the so called direct action would take place, simply put different forms of ambushes against predetermined targets such as supply vehicles during a prolonged time. The battle would then transform to interdiction once the divisions of the Swedish Army would launch their all-out offensive aimed at destroying the enemy formations.

[…]

Today’s sole ranger battalion is miles apart from its predecessors. The unit isn’t tied to specific geographic areas, but is used deep behind enemy lines against the critical vulnerabilities that have been identified as having the potential to affect the outcome of the battle. How the battle is fought and with what unit size is not defined in set doctrinal rules, but rather decided on the basis of the specific target in question (the critical vulnerability).

The reintroduction of the old designation apparently doesn’t herald a major change in doctrine, but rather a greater focus on the current role in the unique environment that K4’s home region offer. Looking at the long-term plan presented in the SVFM’s PerP-report, the geography of Upper Norrland (i.e. the northernmost part of Sweden) is such that a defence in depth is possible. This would rest on two ranger battalions that together with defensive works and increased long-range fires can slow down the advancing enemy and attrit their rear units. While the units obviously can be used in other locations as well, the tactic works particularly well in this region thanks to it featuring relatively little infrastructure and being heavily forested. Still, in case Norrland wasn’t directly threatened but an enemy landing was made in the southern or central parts of Sweden one should likely expect the NjBats to quickly head south.

The NjBat designation is also needed to differentiate the units from the other major change in the organisation of the SOF force, namely that the airmobile 31. battalion will be converted to a ranger-style battalion and designated simply as a jägarbataljon (i.e. what the AJB’s current wartime organisation 193. jägarbataljonen is designated as). Their mission will “amongst other things” be to provide support to the Swedish SOF-units (i.e. SOG and the Navy’s special forces found in Amf 1’s coastal ranger company). Internationally, the best comparison is probably to the UK’s Special Forces Support Group (SFSG), which “serves as a quick-reaction force to assist Special Forces missions. This might include large supporting offensives, blocking enemy counter-attacks or guarding areas of operation” (quote from here). Notable is that these mission sets aren’t in fact widely different from the current missions of the airmobile battalion, which also include operations behind enemy lines and emphasise the rapid reaction made possible by the unit being relatively light and moved around by helicopter, and in fact the unit already does cooperate with SOG when the need arises. The wording about “amongst other things” obviously leaves room for other mission sets as well. Time will tell how big the change compared to the current role is for the 31.

Swedish Army main units 2020
The peacetime bases of the main units of the Swedish Defence Forces by 2030 according to the latest plan presented by the Swedish Defence Forces. Note that some icons are shifted slightly to allow for a clearer picture. Source: Own illustration

Brigades and Battlegroups

For the main combat units of the Swedish Army the changes are dramatic. Going from the current two brigades that would be built upon modular blocks being moved around the country, the new structures will be fixed and emphasise the major peacetime regiments all mobilising into their own brigade.

P4 and I19 will both create a brigade each, the 4. mechanised brigade and the 19. mechanised Norrland brigade. On paper these are similar in force structure, with two armoured and one mechanised battalion each as their manoeuvre elements, being backed up by an engineering battalion, an artillery battalion (currently these have 12 wheeled Archer 155 mm SPGs each), an air defence company, and a reconnaissance company, amongst other. Again, the question arises whether the designation “Norrland” will denote anything else than the northern brigade being more accustomed to snow and bogs due to it being located in Boden? It is certainly possible, although as of yet unconfirmed, that there will be differences in equipment, such as tracked all-terrain vehicles replacing trucks in some roles. However, in both cases the main equipment will be the local variant of the Leopard 2A5, the Strv 122, and the CV 90 fitted with the 40 mm Bofors, the Strf 9040.

The third brigade will be the completely new one, and will be based in the southern parts of the country. P7 Södra skånska regementet is currently home to half of the Swedish Patria AMV-fleet in the form of the 71. motorised rifle battalion. These will be sent to Stockholm, and the battalion will convert to become the 71. armoured battalion by receiving the Strv 122 and other assorted equipment from the sister battalion, the 72. mechanised battalion. The conversion should be completed by 2025. This will leave the eventual 7. mechanised brigade lighter than the other two, having a single armoured and two mechanised battalions (the supporting units likely being similar). The reason behind all three brigades not being carbon copies is simply that there aren’t enough tanks. There are a number of CV 90s currently mothballed though, so they are available. The decision to make the brigade positioned in the open flat terrain of Skåne, the stereotypical tank country, is interesting. An optimist would say that it is as MekB 7 will be the first to receive new tanks when they are ordered sometimes post-2030, though there is currently no funds or direct plans for a renewal of the Strv 122/Strf 9040-combination.

As mentioned, the AMVs will be sent to Stockholm, where the other major new combat formation is created. Stridsgrupp Mälardalen (SG MÄL, literally Battelgroup Mälaren Valley) will be a reduced motorised infantry brigade centred around three infantry battalions of which two will sport the AMV – the current 12. motorised rifle battalion (being re-designated 1. motorised rifle battalion) and the new 2. motorised rifle battalion (set up with the equipment from the 71.). In addition, the Livbataljonen (Life battalion) will be included in the battlegroup, though they will likely remain rather lightly equipped when it comes to vehicles. The battlegroup will be responsible for the defence of the greater Stockholm region, and will have relatively light organic support functions. There will be a single artillery company and a single air defence company, with no higher level engineering or logistical assets. However, if the capital really is threatened, my guess it that it would not be long until e.g. MekB 4 would arrive on scene.

The other independent battlegroup is Stridsgrupp Gotland on the island with the same name. This is built around a single mechanised battalion, the 181. battalion, and will receive an artillery company and an engineering company as well as a logistics company to support it. In addition, there is an air defence unit already operational on the island that will be integrated into the battlegroup.

Local Defence Battalions

One of the features of the current Swedish Army is the lack of a “middle level” between the highly mobile and often heavily protected key units and the home guard battalions. This will now be addressed with the creation of local defence battalions (Lokalförsvarsskyttebataljon), of which five new battalions will be in production by 2030 (three will be fully operational by then, the first coming in 2028). These will be mobilised from new regiments, of which I5 Jämtlands fältjägarregemente in Östersund will be the first (the fältjägar-designation in this case is used due to the traditions of the reactivated regiment, and should not be taken to indicate a ranger/SOF-role).

The kicker here is that while the middle level certainly is needed to flesh out the ranks and ensure that there is the required mass allowing the tip of the spear to be pointing at the key locations, the political decision to create new regiments in cities currently lacking garrisons is the one single issue that most heavily eats up the funds needed for a serious and well-balanced force. It was also in the schedule for these that the leadership of the defence forces clashed most directly with the politicians.

Continued imbalances

As noted, several delays are caused by the inclusion of the new regiments on an aggressive timeline. The ones mentioned for the Army include reduced funds for the acquisition of new personal firearms, a project that was launched last year and is urgently needed according to Twitter-rumours that describe many of the current rifles starting to be worn out. Less sexy but vital acquisitions of “trucks, trailers, and other vehicles” are also being delayed, as is the Telekrigsbataljonen (signals and EW battalion) of the new divisional setup. New C3-equipment for the ground forces are also delayed.

The overall situation is also described in rather stern words in the documents:

“In addition to this, there is an extensive need for support from the rest of the total defence [i.e. the civilian sector] as an imbalance, in terms of operational units and
supporting functions, will remain until 2030. “

In short, the political drive now is to score easy points that can be waved around in the TV debates before next election, pointing at new regiments and brigades as signs of growth. At the same time, basics such as the increased logistical footprint to go with it and personal firearms are put on hold or kicked towards the future.

The Political Game

However, whether the plan will be implemented remains to be seen.

Several politicians of the centre-right opposition (which crucially has a parliamentary majority) are openly stating that come the budgetary rounds in parliament this autumn, they will force the budgetary increase needed for SVFM to implement Värnkraft in full upon the left-leaning government. Whether they actually will make good on their threat or whether a last-minute compromise will be reached remains to be seen, as if the budget really is forced upon the government by the opposition it would constitute a serious political crisis. At the same time, sticking to the limited increases currently envisioned by the government in the current troubling times while notionally trying to increase the fighting power of the SVFM will likely lead to the serious issues and imbalances described above. As such, this is in many ways a litmus test to whether the Swedish political line of growing their defence forces and becoming a serious contributor to stability in the Baltic Sea region is true or just empty promises.

18 thoughts on “Continued Imbalances – The Swedish Defence Forces towards 2030

  1. Perman

    Very interesting post! A few remarks on airforce and navy:

    Of the six remaining TP 84 only “842” is of the original type C-130E (manufactured in 1969 making it a candidate for one of the oldest C-130 in Europe). The other five TP 84 aircraft are all of type C-130H having been manufactured in 1981 as such. The two oldest individuals “841” and “842” was later upgraded with new engines making them compatible with the rest of the fleet. “841” and “843” have since been mothballed in UK.

    There is no mentioning either in the defence papers of replacements for the two ageing Stockholm class vessels, which are due to be retired 2026. While they are “only” classified as patrol vessels nowadays they are prepared to be quickly uprated to corvettes if need be. The only possible solution would be if the two new corvettes are delivered to 2030, making the two Gävle class vessels free for possible conversion to patrol vessels (if their condition will allow).

    One peculiar circumstance regarding upgrades of the Koster class MCMV is that although two new 40 mm Mk4 gun systems have been delivered to the RSwN there is still no sign of these being installed on the Koster class.

  2. Thomas Björklund

    A number of additions and corrections on your fine article. First – A majority of the Swedish parliament has already agreed to increase the Swedish defence budget in steps of 5 BSEK per year to 2025, then reaching 84 BSEK or about 9,4 BUSD a year. What happened after that was that they discovered that more than half on the increased budget would go to already ordered equipment or other costs leaving a gap of about 5 BUSD up to 2030. What the current discussion is about is to add this funding plus to decide about the continued budget increase for the years 2026 to 2030 – this to give the Swedish Defence a more secure forecast about what funds will be available. This is critical to be able to order expensive equipment with long delivery time.

    What would be funded with the additional funding is then the GlobalEye surveilance aircraft, new brigade artillery for the mechanised brigades, additional tracked mortars for the mechanised battalions, new brigade anti air systems and more.

    A big ticket that you missed is that Sweden will replace the current radar network with AESA radar and that is really expensive.

    Also, there are a lot of things in pipeline that you don´t see. Remember that the current RBS-15 battery just popped up from nowhere – was not in any budget and not announced. The same thing with the RBS 23 anti air mid range system now deployed at Gotland.

    Another big ticket you missed out on is that Sweden have ordered 4 Patriot batteries, with final deliveries by 2025. Missiles ordered are PAC-3 MSE and PAC-2 GEM-T.

    At least one of these batteries will end up at Gotland. With a range of about 150 km, that will enable “air denial” over a large part of the southern Baltic sea.

    RBS 15 mark 4, “Gugnir” will have a range of more than 300 km and will also be possible to use as a cruise missile.

    Also not metioned is that all tanks and all CV90 are being upgraded – this work is going on right now. I wouldn´t be surprised if Sweden aquires a numer of additional tanks too.

    Regarding the Airforce. F-16 opens up as an air wing. Today you have the Pilot training at F-16 but there is no war time “base battalion” for support and logistics. That will now change. A few additional “war” air fields will then also be made available.
    A possibility is also to add another 2 squadrons as Sweden will have 96 + 60 Gripens when the Gripen E has been delivered. There have been talks about increasing the number of Gripens to 120 as the current C/D have about 50% lifetime left. Sweden will keep at least 40 Gripen C/Ds but could actually keep 60 C/D’s or more.

    When it coes to the Swedish Navy, you miss out that they also have 2 patrol ships, the Stockholm class that basically are corvettes. The have just had a refurbishment and the only difference between these ships and the Gothenburg corvettes are that that the Stockholm class lack a towed hydrophone. Otherwise they have RBS-15, torpedoes, depth charges and the 57 mm canon.

    The Swedish Army – I think your description was good besides missing out on the CV90 and Leopard 2 A5 upgrades.
    I expect an order for a new mid range anti tank system within a year. Most probable system is Spike.

    What you also missed out on is the increase and upgrade of “the Hemvärnet”. 40 battalions that will grow in size per battalion. Today they act as light infantry with Carl Gustaf anti tank, AT4, and mines. A number of units, 5, are now recieving heavy mortars. A grenade that they are using is “Strix”. The plan is also to provide night vision equipment.
    More heavy mortars as well as anti air manpads have been discussed and one low hanging fruit is that they get the NLAW (RB 57) anti tank missile.

    As of today, there is a majority in the parliament to provide this additional funding.

    1. Esko Oksanen

      The role of the Home Guard versus the new local defence units seems rather unclear at the moment. The Home Guard engineer, recon, CBNR and mortar units are btw not organic to a battalion, but can be used by the regional command even to support other formations as needed. There has been talk about more organic mortar platoons though. It’s also worth noting that the Home Guard battalions are only now getting the capability to fight as a whole battalion, whereas so far they have been operating companies separately.

      1. Thomas Björklund

        Logically, the local defence units should get heavier equipment versus the home guard. That could be Bandvagn 410, Spike Anti tank and anti air manpads.

      2. Thomas Björklund

        Interesting article but I don´t think that the Home guard will be scaled back, that because it doesn´t make sense.

        I don´t think it´s so interesting looking backward when we had the ranger battalions, the border regiments, the territorial defence, the field brigades and then the home guard as just a “guarding unit”. We are heading somewhere else. The home guard have already transformed to what the territorial defence, “bicycle rifle” was before but now with Mercedes pickups. Normally, 2 out of 3 companies in the home guard are already “mission companies” with the third as a guard company. These will also transform to mission companies thus the whole battalion has become a light infantry battallion. It is easier to continue to upgrade these than to build local defence battalions that do the same work. It doesn´t make sense as we now already have 40 home guard battalions. What does makes sense it to continue to develop the home guard battalions, which is the current plan. What is in pipeline are new radios and night vision equipment. What would boost the units even more are more mortars, rb 57 (NLAW) and maybe even anti air manpads – that would create a quite large volume significant fighting power when it comes to territorial defence. Not so fun to be air dropped in areas where these units are.

        The local defence battalions should then be one level above in capability – that could then be to add BvS 10 (BV 410) and/or Spike missiles to the units. If the field army aquires Spike then the personnel transferred to the local defence battalions are already trained on that system. This would also make sense from an industry politics perspective as that would create work in Sweden.

      3. Very important note: “It’s also worth noting that the Home Guard battalions are only now getting the capability to fight as a whole battalion, whereas so far they have been operating companies separately.”

    2. Tony Aughney

      Far too ambitious and unrealistic. Having 5 armoured battalions requires 22 Strv22’s each for a total of 110 out of a fleet of 120. Leaving none for the mechanised battalions. 4 extra artillery battalions? 3 extra engineer battalions? Where are the men coming from?

      1. Thomas Björklund

        The Swedish army will probably have one armoured company per battalion (3 companies per battalion and then 2 with CV90). That makes 33 tanks per brigade. 3 brigades makes 99 tanks and then one company on Gotland – 11 more. So that is 110 tanks. Regarding soldiers to artillery and engineer, the Sweish army is increasing the number of conscripts from 4000 to 8000 per year in a phased approach. So it´s not unrealistic though I hope that the Swedish army will get more tanks and then about 40 more.

  3. Pingback: Continued Imbalances – The Swedish Defence Forces towards 2030 — Corporal Frisk | vara bungas

  4. @Thomas the Home Guards problem is not its lack of competent soldiers. The problem is that they lack staff functions/personell to be able to act as light infantry battalions even more so if you add anti-air capabilities. There is also a general lack of time for training where I believe that the mortar platoons are requiered to do more time each year (please correct me if I’m wrong). That could be a possible way to go if you want to add functions to the battalions, but as stated earlier, you cannot just add a weapon system and train the soldiers on it. You need to adjust your HQ functions, logistics capabilities and so on to be able to properly benefit from the new system.

    1. Thomas Björklund

      Well, its acually a lack of competent soldiers too. Not because we don´t have them today, we have, but we need more to fill vacancies and the Home Guard is volontary, so the way to get more competent personnel is to increase the pay. I myself lose money when attending because that my pay from my civil work is so much higher than what I have in the military so I solve that by taking vacation when attending exercises.
      We still have experienced people, reserve officers, in the civil society that can take roles as staff personnel until we have trained new ones. I would say that the problem is more that the Home Guard officers sometimes lack the understanding of high intensive warfare and what it takes with radio silence, wher to place the radio masts in relation to staff hq etc but it is coming.
      Also, the people that lead the mortar platoons today, have long experience of that from their basic military service, some are old mortar platoon commanders. So when you add these capabilities, you have to find people, and they exist, that have the right experience to handle it. The way to do that is to “head hunt” the right people and offer them good proposals of economic compensation. Most are positive to server the king and country.
      I do think that adding a few says for the mortar platoons is a good idea but the key here is economic compenation. Two weeks of training is enough to keep the platoons well trained. The key training is on how to do the initial sync of the mortars, then the manual calculation of the mortar adjustments (if we still want to be able to do it manually – I guess that you could have the calculation as an app) and then the radio signalling.
      As said before, the home guard battalions are almost completely ready to act as light infantry battalions (not only light infantry companies) and the easiest way to increase our fire power is to finalise the transition. The local defence battalions should have a higher level of protection and fire power thus the BV410 and Spike missiles.

    2. Esko Oksanen

      The mortar (and other specialist) platoons have the same contract as everyone else (8-10 days). The mortar platoons do include a staff element (basically a battalion arty commander with help) that is otherwise missing from a battalion HQ. As with the home guard in general the pool of competent soldiers and officers exists, but is rather old and is not really growing. It is rather easier to train someone with a basic military training to a regular home guard unit than a mortar platoon, especially for the more technical roles. Another significant limitation is the instructors with the right competencies and accreditations (for live firing etc.) Adding NLAW to the home guard is a much lower hanging fruit than more mortars, though both are needed (as are engineers and recon) for a light infantry battalion role.

      1. Thomas Björklund

        Reserve officers with mortar experience still exists and I´m one of them. My comrades at Stridsskola Nord are the ones that started up the first home guard mortar platoon in Dalarna. Using ex mortar soldiers and officers is still possible. We still neeed to train more soldiers on mortar model 41, but that is not that difficult. Then I would say, training company and platoon commanders on how to aply indirect fire plus to train people that can direct indirect fire is a bigger task.
        As for the battalion artillery commander, I think that is overkill for a home guard battalion as they, normally, only have one mortar platoon and no brigade artillery etc. So giving a company access to this single mortar platoon is something the battalion “battle commander” can execute.
        The ability to take out tanks and other armoured vehicles 7 km away is so important regarding enemy attrition and also to exhause their logistics as the only safe way to avoid being targeted by Strix missiles is to constantly move, thus burning fuel, fuel that is in short supply.

  5. PG

    I’m not shure we are doing the right investment in equipment towards the future!

    We should have land-RAM protecting all of our bases and deposes against surpriceattac from X-Rbs subsonic and supersonic <5+.

    To locate them you need satellites we don't have!

      1. PG

        Why not?
        Think outside the box, NATO building C4ISR to detect and communicate small RCS objects connecting Sweden and Finland into the system.
        Early warning needs satelites to detect hypersonic and glide flying objects becouse the world is going that direction.
        Sweden/Finland can not afford this so the only conclusion is enjoy NATO.

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