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This is military defence


Military defence will defend Sweden against an armed attack, assert Sweden’s territorial integrity and prevent and manage conflicts and war. For several years, Sweden’s defence has been growing in areas such as war organisation, volumes of personnel, military equipment and training exercises.

  • The Swedish Armed Forces conduct a large number of training exercises every year, with and without partner nations.

    Photo: Erik Westerberg/Swedish Armed Forces

  • Minister for Defence Pål Jonson at a meeting with representatives from the defence industry and public agencies. In spring 2023, the Government launched an initiative to promote Swedish defence innovation.

    Photo: Niklas Forsström/Government Offices

  • Combat Vehicle 90, an important part of Sweden’s military support to Ukraine.

    Photo: Bezav Mahmod/Swedish Armed Forces

  • Minister for Defence Pål Jonson at a ceremony for Swedish soldiers participating in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

    Photo: Ditte Boysen Ruge/Swedish Armed Forces

Preservation of peace and deterrence of war

Military defence must promote peacekeeping and deterrence of war. For a potential adversary, the disadvantages of attacking Sweden must outweigh the advantages. For this reason, it is important that the military defence is well prepared and has the necessary resources to be able to defend the country in a sustainable manner. 

Military defence objective 

Direction of the 2020 Defence Resolution

Current developments build on the Riksdag’s 2020 Defence Resolution Bill, which in turn builds on the Government Bill Totalförsvaret 2021–2025 (‘Total defence 2021–2025’). Through the Defence Resolution, the military defence will be substantially reinforced.

A few examples:

  • the war organisation is strengthened by new combat units being organised in the Swedish Army and in the Amphibious Corps;
  • the number of positions in the war organisation will increase from around 60 000 in 2020 to more than 100 000 in 2030;
  • the number of people undergoing basic training for national military service will increase from around 4 000 in 2020 to 8 000 in 2025;
  • five regiments and one air force wing have been re-established;
  • cyber defence is being strengthened; and
  • substantial investments are being made to maintain existing equipment systems and acquire new ones.

Priority areas for the military defence

In light of the deteriorating international situation, there is broad political consensus on implementing additional reinforcements of the military defence. Priorities of the Government’s policy in the area of military defence are included in the Government’s Budget Bill for 2024. 

Military budget initiatives for 2024 

Supply of personnel

Personnel are a crucial resource for the military defence. Supply of personnel for the military defence builds on national military service and employed staff.

To be able to produce fully staffed, trained combat units that have taken part in joint exercises, basic national military service training with subsequent wartime posting is required. National military service also enables supplying the Swedish Armed Forces with employed staff, such as professional and reserve officers, section commanders, soldiers and sailors. 

Acquisition of defence equipment

The acquisition of defence equipment must ensure that the Swedish Armed Forces’ needs in times of peace, crisis and war can be met. The Defence Materiel Administration acquires defence equipment for the Armed Forces based on an investment plan that is made following decisions taken by the Riksdag and the Government. They conduct procurements that can involve anything from uniforms and personal equipment to technically complex procurements of combat aircraft, submarines, radar systems or combat vehicles.

The deteriorating security situation entails challenges for the acquisition of defence equipment, as many countries need to acquire equipment at the same time. Significant efforts are being made to increase defence industrial capacity. Sweden’s defence companies play an important role in contributing to the security of defence material acquisition.

Training exercises 

Building a strong and credible defence requires training exercises. The Swedish Armed Forces conduct a large number of exercises every year. The Army, the Navy, the Air Force, logistics and command and control units, and Home Guard units carry out exercises both on their own and together. In addition, the Armed Forces conduct exercises with a large number of other government agencies and organisations. Exercises take place together with other countries’ military forces, with the aim of developing the capacity for collaboration and to provide and receive military support.

More on military defence

The Swedish Defence Conscription and Assessment Agency staffs the Swedish Defence Forces’ war organisation, including through engaging and registering people for basic national military service training.

Swedish Defence Conscription and Assessment Agency 

The Swedish Defence Research Agency is tasked with carrying out research activities, methods and technological development and investigations for total defence and to support disarmament, non-proliferation and international security.

Swedish Defence Research Agency

The Swedish Armed Forces is the government agency that maintains and develops the military defence. The main task of the Armed Forces is to defend Sweden against an armed attack.

Swedish Armed Forces

The National Defence Radio Establishment is tasked with conducting signals intelligence to identify external military threats to Sweden. It is also tasked with supporting government agencies and individual operators with technical information security.

National Defence Radio Establishment

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration procures, develops and delivers materiel and services to the military defence.

Swedish Defence Materiel Administration

The Swedish Fortifications Agency owns, manages and develops Sweden’s defence properties. The Agency has expertise in fortification, i.e. technology related to protection and infrastructure.

Swedish Fortifications Agency (in Swedish)

The Swedish Defence University is tasked with providing higher education to higher-level professional and reserve officers who will hold positions in times of war and peace. The University is also tasked with providing human capacity building and managerial development primarily for total defence needs, through training of civil and military personnel.

Swedish Defence University

Part of total defence

Sweden’s total defence consists of two areas of activity – military defence and civil defence.