The Full Wiki

Military of Sweden: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Swedish Armed Forces article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Swedish Armed Forces
Coat of Arms of the Swedish Armed Forces
Coat of Arms of the Swedish Armed Forces
Service branches Coat of Arms of the Swedish Army Swedish Army
Coat of Arms of the Swedish Air Force Swedish Air Force
Coat of Arms of the Swedish Navy Swedish Navy
Headquarters Stockholm
Minister for Defence Sten Tolgfors
Supreme Commander General Sverker Göranson
Director General Ulf Bengtsson
Military age 19 years of age
Conscription Yes (until July 1, 2010)
Available for
military service
2,052,890 males, age 16-49 (2008 est.),
1,980,550 females, age 16-49 (2008 est.)
Fit for
military service
1,705,746 males, age 16-49 (2008 est.),
1,645,070 females, age 16-49 (2008 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
62,262 males (2008 est.),
59,340 females (2008 est.)
Deployed personnel ~700[1]
Related articles
History Military history of Sweden
Ranks Military ranks of the Swedish Armed Forces

The Swedish Armed Forces (Swedish: Försvarsmakten,which translates to The Swedish Defense Forces) is a Government agency responsible for the operation of the armed forces of Sweden. The primary peace time task of the agency is to train and deploy military forces abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to defend the country in the event of war.

There are three service branches: Army, Air Force and Navy, all reporting to the Supreme Commander (Överbefälhavaren, ÖB) who is the highest ranking officer in the country, except for the king of Sweden. The Supreme Commander in turn reports to the Ministry of Defence.

Sweden's military is built on conscription, and until the end of the Cold War nearly all men reaching the age of military service were conscripted. In recent years, the number of conscripted males has been reduced dramatically, while the number of female volunteers has increased slightly. Recruitment has generally shifted towards finding the most motivated recruits, rather than solely on the otherwise most fit for service, although there are exceptions. Starting in summer 2010, peacetime conscription will cease, to be replaced with contracted personnel altogether. The transfer to the new system will be fully completed in 2018.

Units from the Swedish armed forces are currently deployed in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Moreover, Sweden contributes with military observers in various countries and serve as the lead nation for an EU Battle Group approximately once every three years.



The Armed Forces have four main tasks[2]:

  1. To assert the territorial integrity of Sweden.
  2. To defend the country if attacked by a foreign nation.
  3. To support the civil community in case of disasters (e.g. flooding).
  4. To deploy forces to international peace support operations.

Sweden aims to have the option of remaining neutral in case of proximate war.[3] However, Sweden cooperates with a number of foreign countries. As a member of the European Union, Sweden is acting as the lead nation for EU Battlegroups[4] and also has a close cooperation, including joint exercises, with NATO through its membership in Partnership for Peace and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.[5] In 2008 a partnership was initiated between the nordic countries to, among other things, increase the capability of joint action.[6][7] As a response to the expanded military cooperation the defence proposition of 2009 stated that Sweden won't remain passive if a nordic country or a member of the European Union is attacked.[8]

Recent political decisions have strongly emphasized the will to participate in international operations, to the point where this has become the main short-term goal of training and equipment acquisition.[9][10][11]




In 1975 the total number of conscripts was 45,000. By 2003 it was down to 15,000. After the Defence Proposition 2004, the number of troops in training will decrease even further to between 5,000 and 10,000 each year, which emphasizes the need to recruit only the soldiers later prepared to volunteer for international service. As of 2007, the government has discussed dropping the peacetime draft altogether.

Today, the total manpower available to the Swedish Armed Forces when fully mobilized is said to consist of about 36,000. This stands in sharp contrast to the 1980s, before the fall of the Soviet Union, when Sweden could gather up to 800,000 men when total mobilization had been declared; but the importance placed on defensive spending during the Cold War is perhaps best reflected by the fact that Sweden in the late 1950s ran the world's fourth-largest air force. This is now far from being the case. Indeed, after rapid draw-downs in the mid-to-late 1990s, there are now more admirals and generals in the Swedish Armed Forces force than there are ships and artillery pieces, respectively, for them to command.

As of 2006, wartime placement had been resumed, after being scrapped in 2003. At present Sweden can mobilize a force consisting of two mechanized battalions and some auxiliary companies after 90 days of mobilization (see military units below) and 37,000 Home Guard/Defense. Full mobilisation is assumed to take one year (although no mobilisation readiness exists), and the formations assumed are of battalion level size. With the Home Guard being available within 12-72 hours.[12]

Criticism and research

In a 2008 article based on his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Karl Ydén of the University of Göteborg described the Swedish Armed Forces as foremost a peacetime career system for desk officers, while questioning its drive to let actual military operations guide organizational development and use of resources. [13][14]

Distribution of personnel

This is the distribution of personnel vs rank as reported by the Swedish Armed Forces in their annual report 2009-01-01: The mean average age for employed officers and NOC equivalents is 42.2 and for reserve officers 47.7. Ref: [15]

OF-9 General / Admiral 2
OF-7 - OF-8 Maj, General / Rear Admiral, Lt. General / Vice Admiral 40
OF-6 Brigadier General / Rear Admiral LH 23
OF-5 Colonel / Captain (N) 330
OF-4 Lieutenant Colonel / Commander 1,174
OF-3 Major / Lieutenant Commander 3,053
OF-2 Captain / Lieutenant (N) 7,586
OF-1 Lieutenant / Sub Lieutenant 5,652
OF-1 Second Lieutenant / Acting Sub Lieutenant 571
OR-9 Regimental Sergeant Major / Command Master Chief Petty Officer 0
OR-8 Sergeant Major / Master Chief Petty Officer 0
OR-7 Colour Sergeant 21
OR-6 Sergeant 1st class 260
Total number of officers 18,712
Soldiers, seamen, specialists and squad leaders
OR-5 Sergeant 770
OR-4 Corporal
OR-3 Lance Corporal
OR-2 Private 1st class
OR-1 Private
Total number of solider, seamen, specialists and squad leaders 770
Soldiers, seamen, specialists and squad leaders by location[15]
BFA3 January 2009 10
Squad leaders, seamen and soldiers abroad, Dec 2008 430
Squad leaders, seamen and soldiers in Sweden, Dec 2008 330
Total squad leaders, seamen and soldiers 770
Officer candidates[15]
Officer candidates who graduate as Fanrik 2009 309
Officer candidates who graduate as Fanrik 2010 112
Officer candidates who graduate as Fanrik 2011 100
S-Officer candidates who graudate as Forste Sergeant 2010 270
Total officer candidates 791
Conscript recruits undertaking training
also including squad and platoon leader candidates[15]
Branch Number of conscripts
Army 6,537
Navy 1,012
Air force 392
Total number of conscripts 7,908


Officers are trained in the different combat schools and also at the Military Academy Karlberg which has establishments at Karlberg Palace in Stockholm, and in Halmstad. Conscripts are trained at the different units of the three branches.

Harmonization with other countries

Sweden has adjusted its rank system through a series of reforms. The 1983 NBO reform saw employed personnel such as NCOs, WOs, and regular officers merged into a single corps called professional officers (YO). In a 2009 reversal of this reform, officers will be split into a NCO corps (called "specialistofficerare") and an officers corps respectively.

With the new system, the traditional name Furir has been changed to Sergeant and Sergeant is now Förste Sergeant.

A typical Swedish rifle squad consists of between 6 to 8 men (depending on role and type). A rifle squad can be led by either an OR-5 Sergeant, OR-6 Förste Sergeant (Sergeant 1 class), Fänrik(OF1), Löjtnant(OF1), or Kapten(OF2). Specialized squads are led by an OR-6 Förste Sergeant (Sergeant 1 class). An OR-6 will have graduated from a 18 month training programme after completing either 11 months basic training or a 6 month aspirant/candidate programme. An OR-5 will have been selected for leadership duties during the 11 months of basic training.

HKV-PERS of the Swedish Armed Forces have adopted a STANAG perspective, and attempted to use a terminology as close to other European nations as possble, mainly that of the United Kingdom. Inevitably, this has led to certain confusion. As an example, the United Kingdom does not have other ranks at level OR-5, but many other countries do, such as the United States where an OR-5 is a Sergeant. In Canada an OR-5 is a Master Corporal.

The meaning of Swedish ranks are fundamentally different from leading NATO members. For example, US ranks are assigned based on command position and relative competency. Swedish ranks, on the other hand, on length in Service and completed courses. Appointments to Överste and above are based on other criteria such as political correctness. Since the harmonization effort was limited to assigning OF/OR codes to each Swedish rank, the differences remain the same as before.


For details regarding ranks: Military ranks of the Swedish armed forces.

Military units

The table describes briefly what Sweden currently has deployed abroad and may mobilize within one year. Ready-within-one-year means that there is equipment but no currently contracted personnel. Mobilizing units outside of the R10-R90 readiness range will entail placing units on a wartime footing, wherein officers would have to leave their current assignments in order to command their units.

Unit Current Ready 30 days Ready 90 days Ready within one year Readiness not set
Ntl. (O)HQ 1
(F)HQ 1
Battle Group HQ 1 1
Signal battalion 1/3 1
IT-defence unit 1
EW battalion 1
PSYOPS unit 1
HQ battalion 1
Technical Support battalion 1/3 1
Heavy Transport company 1 platoon 1
MOVCON Command 1
MOVCON platoons 1 3
Hospital company 3
Hospital Support company 3
Logistics battalion 1/6 2
ISTAR battalion 1
Special Forces Units 1 1
Ranger battalion 1 platoon 1
Security battalion 1
Pioneer battalion 1 company 2
MP company 1 1
CBRN company part 2
Home Guard battalions 60
Mechanised battalion 1 company 1 + tank company 5
Light mechanised battallion 1 1
Artillery battalion part 2
Airmobile battalion 1/5 1
Airdefense battalion part 2
Maritime surveillance and information battalion 1
Flottila Command units 2
Corvette divisions* 2 ships 2
Mine warfare divisions* 2 ships 2
Submarine flotilla 1 submarine 1
Ampibious battalion 1 company (+) 1
Ampibious surveilance company 1
Maritime base battalion 1 company 1
Helicopter battalion 1
Air command and control battalion 1
Air command group 1
Air combat divisions* 1 1 2
Air transport division part 1
Central air transport division 1
SIGINT division 1 unit 1
Air base battalion 1 unit 2
Afghanistan (ISAF) mechanised rifle company(++) 500 men
Kosovo (KFOR) mechanised company 252 troops
Gulf of Aden (Operation Atalanta) 3 ships 160 men
  • Please note that the term division in Swedish parlance varies widely. 8 aircraft make up the combat component of an Air Force division, 6 ships a naval division

References: [1] International troops

Nordic Battle Group

Nordic Battle Group is a temporary formation of the Swedish Armed Forces, tasked as one of the EU Battle Groups. The next period in which Sweden will be lead nation for a Battle Group is during the first half of 2011.

International units/deployments

Currently, Sweden has deployed military forces in Afghanistan with the International Security Assistance Force and in Kosovo as a part of the multi-national Kosovo Force as well as a a naval force about to be deployed to the gulf of Aden as a part of recently established EU anti-piracy mission named Operation Atalanta . Military observers from Sweden have been sent to a large number of countries, including Georgia, North Korea, Lebanon, Israel and Sri Lanka and Sweden also participates with staff officers to missions in Sudan and Chad


The Swedish multirole fighter, the Saab 39 Gripen.
The Infantry fighting vehicle Strf 90 produced and used by Sweden.
NH90 of the Swedish Armed Forces

Armed Forces Headquarters

The Armed Forces Headquarters is the highest level of command in the Swedish Armed Forces.[16] It is led by the Supreme Commander with a civilian Director General as his deputy and separated into several divisions with different responsibilities (e.g. the Military Intelligence and Security Service). Overall, the Armed Forces Headquarters have about 1000 employees, including civilian personnel.[17][18]



Some of the schools listed below answer to other units, listed under the various branches of the Armed Forces.


  • Armed Forces Centre for Defence Medicine (FömedC) located in Gothenburg, with a section in Linköping
  • Armed Forces Logistics (FMLOG) located in Stockholm, Boden, Karlskrona and Arboga
  • Armed Forces Intelligence and Security Centre (FMUndSäkC) located in Uppsala
  • Armed Forces Musical Centre (FöMusC) located in Stockholm/Kungsängen
  • Recruitment Centre (RekryC) located in Stockholm
  • National CBRN Defense Centre (SkyddC) located in Umeå
  • Swedish EOD and Demining Centre (SWEDEC) located in Eksjö
  • Swedish Armed Forces International Center (Swedint) located in Stockholm/Kungsängen

Government agencies reporting to the Ministry of Defence

Voluntary Defence Organizations

See also


  1. ^ "In the world - Försvarsmakten". Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  2. ^ Försvarets fyra huvuduppgifter (In Swedish)
  3. ^ "Sverige är militärt alliansfritt. Denna säkerhetspolitiska linje, med möjlighet till neutralitet vid konflikter i vårt närområde, har tjänat oss väl." Sveriges säkerhetspolitik (In Swedish)
  4. ^ "Nordic Battlegroup - Försvarsmakten". 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  5. ^ Sverige och NATO (In Swedish)
  6. ^ "Nordic defence cooperation - Försvarsmakten". 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  7. ^ "Background to cooperation - Försvarsmakten". 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  8. ^ Ett användbart försvar, last paragraph (In Swedish)
  9. ^ Försvarsreformen (In Swedish)
  10. ^ "Our task - Försvarsmakten". 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  11. ^ "The Swedish military service system - Försvarsmakten". 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  12. ^ Ivarsson, Ulf (February 2007). "Pendeln måste slå tillbaka". Hemvärnet (1): 5. 
  13. ^ Ph.D. thesis in "War and the career system", Dagens Nyheter by professor Mats Alvesson, researcher of military organization at Lunds University, and Karl Ydén at the University of Göteborg.
  14. ^ ""Karriärstyrda officerare skapar inkompetent försvar"" (in (Swedish)). 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  15. ^ a b c d eÅrsredovisningar/Årsredovisning%202008/Bilaga%203%20Årsredovisning%202008.pdf
  16. ^ "Armed Forces Headquarters (HKV) - Försvarsmakten". 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  17. ^ (In Swedish)
  18. ^ (In Swedish)
  19. ^

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address