Swedish Armed Forces


By being able to face an armed attack, the defence is to constitute a threshold, together with political, diplomatic and financial funds, for anyone wanting to attack Sweden, or exercise pressure using military force.

The most important for the Swedish defence during 2016-2020 is to increase the operational capability in the military unit and to secure the collective capability in the total defence.

Total defence

The total defence comprises military and civil defence. To secure the collective capability of the total defence, the government proposes the reopening of a cohesive planning in its defence political proposition for 2016-2020.

Civil defence

The task of the civil defence is to plan support to the Armed Forces in a state of emergency. The civil defence comprises operations conducted to make it possible for society to handle situations when preparedness is raised. The civil defence is not an organisation but an operation that is run by government authorities, municipalities, county councils, private companies and volunteer organisations. Accordingly, the collective total defence requires broad commitment and support in society.

From 2016, the objective for the civil defence is to:

  • protect the civilian population,
  • secure key public functions,
  • contribute to the Armed Forces capability during an armed attack or war in our surroundings.

Military defence

From 2016, the objective for the military defence is to, independently and jointly with others, within and outside the country, defend Sweden and promote security in the country. This is to be accomplished by:

  • asserting Sweden's sovereignty, protect sovereign rights and national interests,
  • prevent and handle conflicts and war,
  • protect Sweden's freedom of action in political, military and other pressure and if necessary defend Sweden against incidents and armed attacks,
  • protect society and its functions in the form of support to the civil authorities.

Military units

The military units are designed firstly to be able to face an armed attack. These units are also fundamentally equipped to resolve tasks in peacetime, for example, protection of the territorial integrity and participation in international crisis managing operations. Military units must be manned, equipped and trained to solve their tasks. All military units have tasks in peacetime as well as in a state of emergency.

Personnel provision

The single most important prerequisite to improve the operational capability is the ability of the Armed Forces to recruit and retain personnel over time. The government is reviewing several measures that will be able to strengthen personnel provision, for example, extending basic training and refresher training for personnel in combat locations. Personnel provision in the military is based on voluntary and mandatory service. Support from the civilian population to the total defence is crucial to the willingness to defend Sweden and ultimately the defence capability.

Veteran policy

The Swedish veteran legislation includes the Armed Forces personnel, both military and civil, who participated in international military operations. Information about veterans' situation and reaction is increasing continuously, and the Swedish veteran policy must cover all parts of the chain from the initiation of an operation to way beyond the end. The veteran policy aims to provide personnel that serve in international operations and their family support that is proportionate to the risks and pressure to which they are exposed.


The availability of the Swedish military units is also based on functioning equipment and materiel. The government's objective is to secure these fundamental parts of the Swedish defence. This pertains not only to larger materiel systems, for example, aircraft, vessels, anti-aircraft and artillery, but also soldiers' equipment, communication systems, vehicles and logistic capability.