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Swedish Patriots reach IOC

The Försvarsmakten on 17 December announced the IOC of its Patriot air-defence system. (Försvarsmakten/Bezav Mahmod)

The Försvarsmakten (Swedish Armed Forces) announced on 17 December that its Patriot air-defence system, designated by Sweden as Luftvärnssystem 103, had reached initial operational capability (IOC).

IOC was declared during an exercise conducted by the Försvarsmakten's Air Defence Regiment in Halmstad in mid-December. The commander of the regiment's 61st Air Defence Battalion, Colonel Magnus Stegmark, said the exercise “ensured that we can now use the new capability in the defence of Sweden”. The Försvarsmakten said Patriot will give it the capability to shoot down enemy aircraft and ballistic and cruise missiles.

During part of the exercise, the battalion was supported by the Swedish Air Force's (SwAF's) 72nd Fighter Squadron from the F7 base in Satenas with JAS 39 Gripen combat aircraft.

Brigadier General Mikael Frisell, Director of Land Systems at the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) told Janes in the second quarter of 2021 that he hoped the first Patriot battalion would achieve IOC by the end of the year, an objective that has now been achieved.

He said the SwAF would provide command-and-control and and the Swedish Army will man and train the battalion.

The battalion previously trained on the Patriot in the United States with US personnel with experience of the Patriot system. Brig Gen Frisell said Sweden was also learning from Patriot operators Germany and the Netherlands, including sending staff to their exercises.

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