Defence Relationship Between Sweden and UK Boosted by Self-Propelled Gun Agreement

2 mins

Defence ministers from the UK and Sweden have signed an agreement relating to a new contract...

Mane Defence Team

By Mane Defence Team

Defence ministers from the UK and Sweden have signed an agreement relating to a new contract aimed at delivering 14 self-propelled Archer guns. Following discussions between defence ministers, the UK has agreed to continue supporting Sweden’s accession to NATO. The UK will also work with Sweden to ensure that Ukraine receives any support necessary. Pål Jonson was welcomed by Ben Wallace, the UK’s defence secretary, to the Ministry of Defence. During their meeting, they signed a letter of intent relating to the British Army gaining a number of Archer self-propelled guns which are built in Sweden. They also spoke on the future collaboration between the two nations.

Wallace explained how Sweden had provided Ukraine with vital military aid and support, as well as UK allies through the Joint Expeditionary Force. He went on to state that the UK will continue to support Sweden’s accession to NATO, with the aim of fortifying Northern Europe and the Baltics against aggression from Russia. Jonson backed this up by highlighting that relations with the UK will be strengthened after the artillery agreement has been signed. He noted that the leadership that Britain has shown when supporting Ukraine is inspirational, and how important it is for Sweden and the UK to continue with this support until victory is achieved.

He said: “I thank the UK for the quick ratification and the support of our NATO membership application. The UK has shown continued political support but also a military presence in our neighbourhood - both bilaterally and through the JEF - pivotal to our security during the accession period.”

The May 2022 UK-Sweden Mutual Solidarity Agreement is one of the driving forces behind the UK and Sweden’s defence relationship, along with the JEF and North Group. They are also supported by  Royal Air Force Typhoon and the Swedish Air Force, as well as Royal Navy vessels. Last summer, HMS Defender and HMS Portland docked in Sweden, with HMS Albion doing something similar this year. Later on, in 2023, the Army will team up with the Royal Navy and RAF for Exercise Aurora. Along with vessels and RAF Typhoons, 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment soldiers will train with Finnish and Swedish troops as part of a Finnish Battlegroup in Sweden.

Industry in Sweden has previously supported the UK’s support efforts of providing military aid to Ukraine. NLAW anti-tank weapons - which are designed by Saab, a Swedish company - were a big part of boosting Ukraine’s efforts. Plus, the UK has announced a contract that’s worth close to £5 million aimed at replenishing munitions granted to Ukraine, and this will be done by Swedish produced Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifles.

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