The Swedish defense ministry has taken delivery of its first complete Patriot missile defense system from the United States in a ceremony on November 18.
Sweden ordered the US-built system over the European Eurosam SAMP/T in August 2018 and started receiving first components in April this year, when Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the program, delivered Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptors.
In Swedish service, Patriot will be known as Air Defense System 103, or LvS103.
The delivery ceremony at the Air Defence Regiment in Halmstad, the Swedish Armed Forces’ only anti-aircraft regiment, gathered government and defense officials from both countries.
“As a representative of the Swedish Armed Forces Materiel Administration, I ask to hand over the first, complete fire unit of air defense system 103 to the army and the Armed Forces,” Brigadier General Mikael Frisell, head of army materiel at the Swedish Armed Forces Materiel Administration (FMV), said.
The handover means that the army now has launchers for both the Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhancement Missile-TBM missiles and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) missiles, a command post, radars, power plants, and associated towing vehicles. The radar at the heart of the system is known as the “Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target,” which is an acronym for PATRIOT.
The system will allow Sweden to increase the ranges at which it can intercept threats as well as introduce the capability to shoot down ballistic missiles.
The Swedish armed forces’ two air defense battalions are expected to be equipped with four Patriot batteries by 2025, when the system is also set to achieve full operational capability. Sweden expects to declare an initial operational capability for the system early next year.
In addition to Sweden, current or future Patriot operators include the United States, Israel, the Netherlands, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Spain, Taiwan, Japan, Romania, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Korea, Bahrain and Germany.