Pentagon discovering new Swedish armed forces know-how amid talks of NATO expansion

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Brandi Vincent

The Division of Protection is looking at Swedish navy technology to see if it satisfies U.S. military requires at a time when Sweden might be poised to be a part of the NATO alliance.

In the course of their 1st worldwide journey in two yrs, officials from the Pentagon’s Overseas Comparative Testing (FCT) software — which hunts for cutting-edge, non-U.S.-designed goods with a substantial know-how readiness degree to deploy for Protection Department purposes — just lately visited the Scandinavian nation. That journey also unfolded as Sweden considers joining NATO — and potentially bringing its impressive technological innovation portfolio to the armed forces alliance.

Sweden has been a prolonged-time defense partner with the United States, but has remained outside the house the NATO stability pact. Even so, Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has shifted public feeling in Sweden and prompted a reconsideration of no matter whether the country ought to sign up for NATO.

“As most people claims, it’s a political determination and no a person has produced up their mind however. I believe Sweden, as a modest- or mid-sized country, has really quick connections concerning the military services complications and the technological innovation. And we are recognized to be 1 of the world’s most innovative countries. We have some best-notch technology,” Swedish Armed Forces Main Scientist, Col. Rickard Stridh explained to FedScoop very last week at the Property of Sweden, which is positioned in Washington and residences the Swedish Embassy.

Stridh was between quite a few officers who spoke at the 18th U.S.-Sweden Defense Industry Conference, which was hosted by the Countrywide Protection Industrial Association (NDIA).

Bryant Streett, director of mission prototypes in the Pentagon’s business office of the undersecretary of protection for analysis and engineering, explained that Sweden has been just one of the FCT program’s finest sources of revolutionary systems. He pointed out that the Swedish aerospace and defense enterprise Saab AB “is likely the company that is been the most successful with FCT around the previous 40 years” in terms of the variety of funded tasks.

“I feel we have funded 80-plus FCT initiatives from Sweden about the many years. More than $200 million invested by [the office of the secretary of defense] for those jobs, and possibly 30-moreover of individuals 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 done pretty effectively around the years due to the fact they’ve experienced genuinely good systems that have been far better in many situations than we have in this article,” Streett said.

Mandated by Congress with annually funding, FCT is a application via which DOD can spouse with allies to “save funds on the advancement of technologies and systems in which the overseas enterprise has currently put in a appreciable volume of money” to develop the system, according to Streett.

Officials are wanting for prototypes to examination and possibly obtain that can deliver capabilities a U.S. army company might not nonetheless have — or solutions to present choices that are less expensive or superior. 

Whilst hypersonic missiles, for case in point, are beyond the scope of common FCT projects, Streett explained the crew is on the lookout for a thing together the lines of “a chip that goes into a little something, it could be a new piece of managing equipment for logistics, it could be a unit that screens chemical brokers or radiation.”

He and his colleagues noticed some of people systems on their journey to Sweden before this thirty day period. 

The FCT officials invested a day with Saab to focus on electronic warfare and maritime systems, and and also achieved with 20 other businesses.

“Just to give you an notion, there have been two corporations that make significant-energy steel, a third that makes use of additive manufacturing for 3D printing significant-strength steel for truly hard programs. [There was] a handheld chemical detector … radiation detectors, and an unexpected emergency oxygen process that permitted a re-respiratory functionality so you never have to take a huge canister of oxygen wherever you go,” Streett said.

He observed that the group also visited Finland, Norway and Denmark on their excursion to interact these nations about technological innovation.

Finland is also looking at joining NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.