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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Weapons of War > Air Power

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Air Power A place to discuss the implements of War in the Air!

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  #16  
Old 21 Aug 17, 02:36
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Originally Posted by Achtung Baby View Post
Thx for the info'.
Is the airforce reducing the number of airfields and cost cutting in other areas?
They have already reduced the fixed bases to skeleton levels — i.e. only 4, all of which located as FAR away from Stockholm, the Baltic, Gotland, or anywhere else that seems likelier to be involved in the unlikely event of Sweden having to actively defend its airspace.

There is a fairly decent mothballing scheme for a great many more, that are intended to be recommissioned in short order if anything like a shooting war looks like it might be imminent.

One can take it as a sign of the times however that the Swedish airforce recently recommissioned a number of these secondary level air bases, in order to better distribute the fighter force, i.e. "don't put all your eggs in the same basket" thinking.

The reason for this move was this summers Russian decisions to detach two of their most modern corvettes (serious surface missile capability) from the Black Sea Navy. It was first announced these would head for the Med, then when they exited the Med it was supposed to be the Northern Fleet, but in the end they joined the Russian Baltic navy. It was described as "game changer" in the relative naval power relations in the Baltic (which weren't really to Russia's advantage) by Swedish military, and as a precaution the airforce decided to distribute its fighters a bit better.

Edit:
As for general cost cutting, no, that seems to be over for now. Sweden in the last 20 years has gone from 2 to 1% of GDP spending on the military. The most gung-ho political parties are arguing for building things back up to the 2% level. We'll see. So far, this week, there was a bipartisan agreement in parliament to increase spending by 2 billion SEK/year. Most of that won't be used for new gear or men, but pay for allowing the armed forces as they are to properly train with the gear they have — exercises and maneuvers to make the armed forces actually useful, which has been a problem for a long time now.

There's pretty broad political consensus that the military needs to be built back up again, if not to Cold War levels, at least beyond current numbers and capabilities. (The Feminist Initiative and the Green Party are against, and the Greens are even in government, but even from there they haven't been able to check this development.)
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  #17  
Old 21 Aug 17, 02:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkava188 View Post
Is Sweden still trying to join Nato?
Was it ever actively trying to join NATO? Its been discussed post-2014 and Ukraine. The idea has never polled as something a majority of the public would want. The discussion did go far enough to make the Finnish nervous about the possibility of Sweden heading for NATO, leaving Finland high and dry with Russia next door. So then the Finns for a while looked like they might be even more minded than the Swedes to join NATO.

At this point, with Trump in the White House, the idea pf Sweden joining NATO is dead, for now at least.

Otoh it's not entirely clear Sweden needs to formally join NATO? The amount of commonality achieved by adopting NATO standards, joint exercises, and every kind of agreement short of actual membership, might as well signify Sweden is sorta-kinda in NATO already, except formally, at least at the same side — which is where the Soviets/Russians always figured it was.

And since with Trump in the White House the Europeans feel it's anything but certain the US will stick with its European allies when push comes to shove, the big point of formal NATO membership — the guarantee of mutual defense in case of an attack — is up the air, the whole point of formally joining NATO is kind of lost. At this point, the US is seen as about as friendly and reliable an ally to Sweden outside NATO as it would be if Sweden was inside NATO.

Someone else in the WH could change that balance. Then again, it's unknown how much damage Trump will by then have made to the general view of the reliability of US promises and commitments?

Sweden might be looking more towards the Franco-German stated intentions of supplememting NATO with a European, EU, defense initiative. That's still embryonic at best, but at this point Paris and Berlin are psychologically closer to Stockholm than Washington is, and London is off on that weird tangent of its own as well...
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  #18  
Old 21 Aug 17, 05:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Banér View Post
They bought them.

Apparently due to WWII Austria by treaty was prohibited from operating AA missiles, which led to them buying the first generation Draken A, rather than one of the later upgrades, since the A version had a set up with a double AKAN, i.e. more firepower, while the later versions had only one.

Draken was successfully exported a number of times. It's successor Viggen however had an export sales figure of literally 0. Seems it usually got clobbered by aggressive US marketing in the 1980's.
The DRAKEN was in direct competition with the excellent MIRAGE III, I think. But according to some commentators, Bill Gunston for example, the SAAB product offered the better option for potential foreign purchasers.
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  #19  
Old 29 Aug 17, 02:44
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I hope Sweden and Finland decide to join NATO because they're under a serious threat from Russia.
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Old 30 Aug 17, 00:12
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Originally Posted by sebfrench76 View Post
Meanwhile. , the Rafale fights in the ME skies.
ME skies? Just for for you...........I present the Siberian Rafale!!!!


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  #21  
Old 30 Aug 17, 03:53
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DP, drat, sorry...
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  #22  
Old 30 Aug 17, 03:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkava188 View Post
I hope Sweden and Finland decide to join NATO because they're under a serious threat from Russia.
Only really if something goes down in the Baltic repubs.

Besides, under the present US admin., the usefulness of NATO membership has become a bit of an unknown quantity.

Regardless, entirely national defense capabilities remain 1) the most useful kind, and 2) the thing that makes you more attractive as an alliance member. The baseline is always that you need to be able to reasonably defend yourself. (Finland and Sweden polling as the countries in Western Europe with populations most willing to actively fight in defense of their countries indicates that should be possible.)

NATO should have no interest in Sweden joining UNLESS Sweden can offer capabilities that actively increases NATO's ability to, if need be, deter Russian adventurism in the Baltic.
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