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Ukraine conflict: UK and Sweden strengthen co-operation, including on Archer SPHs

UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace and Swedish Minister of Defence Pål Jonson signed a letter of intent (LOI) in London on 29 March on a bilateral strategic partnership. The Swedish and UK ministries of defence (MoDs) said in press releases on 28 and 29 March, respectively, that the signing of the LOI strengthened bilateral military co-operation and the two countries' defence relationship.

The two MoDs linked Jonson and Wallace's meeting in London to Sweden's sale of 14 Archer self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to the UK, which the Swedish MoD said would enable the donation of British Army AS90 SPHs to Ukraine.

The Swedish MoD added that UK-Swedish co-operation aimed to improve logistics and maintenance of artillery systems donated to Ukraine. The ministry gave training, exercises, procurement of spare parts, and certification of ammunition as examples of planned UK-Swedish co-operation on the use of Archer. Janes has learned that other areas of co-operation include support and training packages.

A spokesperson for the British Army told Janes on 29 March that the service would acquire 14 Archer SPHs as an interim replacement for AS90 SPHs but would not disclose the associated costs of the Archer programme. The British Army will own 14 Archer SPHs from early April, working with Sweden on training on the platforms and delivery to the UK.

A Swedish MoD spokesperson told Janes on 1 April, “Eight pieces are being donated to Ukraine (two of them will be used for spare parts), and 14 pieces have been sold to the United Kingdom. Sweden and the United Kingdom will co-operate on logistics and maintenance to support Archer in Ukraine. The 14 units sold to the UK enabled UK donations of more AS90 units to Ukraine than would have been possible otherwise.”

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