Major investments in military defence and NATO targets projected to be reached
In the Budget Bill for 2024, the Government proposes additional funding to military defence amounting to approximately SEK 700 million. Taking into account upward adjustments and previous decisions, appropriations for military defence will increase by more than SEK 27 billion between 2023 and 2024 – an increase of 28 per cent. This means that appropriations have doubled since 2020 and that Sweden will already reach the defence expenditure target of two per cent of GDP according to NATO’s definition in 2024. In the Budget Bill, the Government also estimates additional funding for 2025 and 2026 amounting to approximately SEK 1.2 billion and SEK 7.4 billion, respectively.
Sweden is facing the most serious security situation since the end of the Second World War. This requires defence forces that are ready to protect Swedish territory. Continuous preparedness adaptations and exercises, Sweden’s support to Ukraine and preparations for NATO membership must all continue while Sweden enhances its own capacity and war organisation in accordance with the bill Total Defence 2021–2025.
Reprioritisation of appropriations for 2024–2025 and planned additional funding for 2026 enable specific investments in the Swedish Armed Forces’ human resources. The aim is to increase personnel numbers, adjust to the effects of new collective agreements and take decisions regarding salaries and supplements. With these resources, the Swedish Armed Forces will be better equipped to address longstanding problems with personal protective equipment.
The growth of the Swedish Armed Forces together with planned retirements means that a greater influx of officers is needed. Swedish NATO membership will require staffing of NATO military structures with Swedish officers, which underscores the increased need. The Government is therefore allocating funds to increase the number of training places for future officers from 250 places to 275 places annually.
Increased appropriations to contribute to NATO’s deterrence and defence
Sweden will be a credible, reliable and loyal member of NATO. As such, Sweden will take part in widespread initiatives, activities and operations within the framework of NATO’s deterrence and defence measures. The Government fully supports NATO’s 360-degree perspective, i.e. that NATO is prepared in all directions – across land, air, sea, cyberspace and space domains – and against all threats and challenges. This may involve Swedish air defence forces taking part in NATO’s Air Policing and incident preparedness, Swedish ground units taking part in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence or Swedish naval forces joining NATO’s Standing Naval Forces.
The Government’s budget allows the Swedish Armed Forces to plan activities relating to NATO’s deterrence and defence measures.
Investments in innovation and development
An increasingly large share of technological developments are currently taking place in the private sector. In the Budget Bill for 2024, the Government proposes allocating SEK 88 million to a military innovation and research programme under the direction of the Swedish Armed Forces. Investments in the Swedish Defence Research Agency are also proposed so that it can better monitor, prioritise, and address emerging and revolutionary technologies. As a NATO member, Sweden also intends to contribute to the NATO Innovation Fund to increase investments in start-ups.
Investments in defence materiel
The Budget Bill for 2024 allows for continued major investments in defence materiel. This concerns, for example, artillery systems, tactical transport aircraft, new surface combat vessels, continued development and production of JAS 39E and Blekinge-class submarines. In the coming years, defence materiel maintenance will be improved to increase availability.
The proposal is based on an agreement between the Government and the Sweden Democrats.
Press Secretary to Minister for Defence Pål Jonson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 76 126 69 22
email to Johan Hjelmstrand