The new Sweden Defense Budget to target NATO’s quota 05/12/2022 | Fabio Di Felice

Awaiting unanimous consent from NATO members to join the Alliance, planned for 2023, the new Swedish Government has drafted its budget bill for 2023 boostering the defense expenses with the target to edge the country closer to NATO’s target quota. In detail, the “Total Defense” plan aims to increase military spending to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2026, and it will be focused on strengthening cyber-defense, intelligence, defense preparedness and, to increase the quality and quantity of new recruits, the salaries of military personnel. The new Sweden defense budget will reinforce the country's capabilities to defend against adversary’s grey zone and hybrid warfare operations both in the military and civil space. The Swedish reform is also focused on a leadership organizational transformation, with Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, proposing the establishment of a new ministry position inside the government that would have joint national defense responsibility and liaising with a new National Security Council (NSC) in accordance with the “Total Defense” plan. Sweden’s draft budget proposal for 2023 includes a provision to increase spending by $1.23 billion (SEK 13 billion) in 2022-2023, from $7.1 (1,45 percent of GDP) to $8.3 billion, with the target of raising over $2.9 billion beyond 2030. In accordance with the Swedish Defense Force (Försvarsmakten), the objective of the “Total Defense” is to defend Sweden in order to buy time, create room for maneuver, and ultimately safeguard the country’s independence, but also to act as a war-deterrent by virtue of its strength, composition, command, preparedness, and resilience. In addition, the Government is fully involved in other, defense-related, significant moves, as follows:

- retain the 2 existing brigades and begin organizing a third mechanized brigade and a reduced motorized brigade in the Stockholm area (Life Guards Brigade)

- enhance the units on Gotland, where the core comprises a mechanized battalion with reinforcement resources

- organize a divisional level, including staff, headquarters, and artillery units

- retain the Submarine Division and develop through an increase in the number of submarines from the 4 at present to 5

- prepare for the procurement of new surface combat vessels being delivered during the period 2026–2030

- organize an additional amphibious battalion based in Gothenburg

- increase the number of the JAS-39E GRIPEN fighters, together with the version C/D, with additional missiles and electronic warfare capabilities to be procured

- procure new equipment (vehicles, sensors, and night combat equipment) for the Home Guard

The new ambitious defense budget plan is currently the subject of ongoing discussions between the Ministry of Defense and the Parliamentary Defense Committee (PDC).

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