Pentagon exploring new Swedish military services know-how amid talks of NATO enlargement

Prepared by

Brandi Vincent

The Department of Defense is searching at Swedish armed forces technologies to see if it meets U.S. armed forces requirements at a time when Sweden might be poised to sign up for the NATO alliance.

Through their to start with intercontinental trip in two decades, officers from the Pentagon’s Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) application — which hunts for reducing-edge, non-U.S.-created products and solutions with a large technological know-how readiness stage to deploy for Defense Office programs — not too long ago frequented the Scandinavian nation. That excursion also unfolded as Sweden considers becoming a member of NATO — and probably bringing its amazing technology portfolio to the armed service alliance.

Sweden has been a very long-time defense husband or wife with the United States, but has remained outside the NATO safety pact. Nonetheless, Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has shifted public viewpoint in Sweden and prompted a reconsideration of irrespective of whether the nation should join NATO.

“As every person claims, it’s a political decision and no one particular has built up their thoughts nonetheless. I imagine Sweden, as a small- or mid-sized state, has really shorter connections concerning the navy complications and the technologies. And we are identified to be a single of the world’s most innovative nations around the world. We have some top-notch technological know-how,” Swedish Armed Forces Main Scientist, Col. Rickard Stridh told FedScoop last 7 days at the House of Sweden, which is positioned in Washington and homes the Swedish Embassy.

Stridh was amid many officers who spoke at the 18th U.S.-Sweden Protection Field Meeting, which was hosted by the Nationwide Protection Industrial Association (NDIA).

Bryant Streett, director of mission prototypes in the Pentagon’s workplace of the undersecretary of protection for investigate and engineering, explained that Sweden has been one particular of the FCT program’s very best resources of innovative systems. He famous that the Swedish aerospace and defense organization Saab AB “is likely the firm which is been the most productive with FCT in excess of the previous 40 years” in conditions of the variety of funded projects.

“I feel we’ve funded 80-plus FCT assignments from Sweden over the years. Above $200 million invested by [the office of the secretary of defense] for those projects, and possibly 30-in addition of those have led to a procurement or to fielding. And that’s with a spending plan, a procurement acquisition, of like $1.5 billion. So, Sweden has accomplished very perfectly in excess of the years due to the fact they’ve experienced actually superior systems that have been much better in numerous conditions than we have right here,” Streett mentioned.

Mandated by Congress with annually funding, FCT is a application as a result of which DOD can companion with allies to “save income on the progress of technologies and methods the place the international company has currently put in a sizeable sum of money” to produce the procedure, according to Streett.

Officers are hunting for prototypes to take a look at and likely acquire that can give capabilities a U.S. navy assistance may not yet have — or alternatives to existing selections that are less costly or improved. 

While hypersonic missiles, for example, are outside of the scope of usual FCT initiatives, Streett mentioned the workforce is seeking for one thing alongside the traces of “a chip that goes into anything, it could be a new piece of handling products for logistics, it could be a gadget that displays chemical agents or radiation.”

He and his colleagues saw some of those people systems on their trip to Sweden earlier this month. 

The FCT officers put in a day with Saab to examine digital warfare and maritime systems, and and also satisfied with 20 other organizations.

“Just to give you an strategy, there had been two firms that make large-strength metal, a 3rd that employs additive manufacturing for 3D printing large-power steel for genuinely difficult purposes. [There was] a handheld chemical detector … radiation detectors, and an emergency oxygen procedure that permitted a re-respiratory capability so you do not have to choose a huge canister of oxygen anywhere you go,” Streett stated.

He mentioned that the group also frequented Finland, Norway and Denmark on their journey to have interaction those nations about engineering.

Finland is also contemplating signing up for NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.