Pentagon exploring new Swedish military technology amid talks of NATO enlargement

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Brandi Vincent

The Office of Defense is seeking at Swedish armed service know-how to see if it fulfills U.S. navy wants at a time when Sweden could be poised to be a part of the NATO alliance.

Through their initial intercontinental journey in two years, officials from the Pentagon’s International Comparative Tests (FCT) plan — which hunts for cutting-edge, non-U.S.-manufactured products and solutions with a higher technological know-how readiness degree to deploy for Protection Office purposes — not long ago frequented the Scandinavian nation. That journey also unfolded as Sweden considers signing up for NATO — and likely bringing its extraordinary technological innovation portfolio to the armed forces alliance.

Sweden has been a lengthy-time defense lover with the United States, but has remained exterior the NATO security pact. Nevertheless, Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has shifted community feeling in Sweden and prompted a reconsideration of no matter if the nation ought to sign up for NATO.

“As all people says, it is a political selection and no a person has built up their head but. I imagine Sweden, as a small- or mid-sized state, has pretty limited connections concerning the military services problems and the technology. And we are identified to be one particular of the world’s most innovative nations around the world. We have some major-notch technologies,” Swedish Armed Forces Main Scientist, Col. Rickard Stridh explained to FedScoop past 7 days at the Household of Sweden, which is situated in Washington and houses the Swedish Embassy.

Stridh was between many officers who spoke at the 18th U.S.-Sweden Defense Market Meeting, which was hosted by the Nationwide Defense Industrial Affiliation (NDIA).

Bryant Streett, director of mission prototypes in the Pentagon’s office environment of the undersecretary of defense for investigation and engineering, explained that Sweden has been a single of the FCT program’s most effective sources of ground breaking technologies. He famous that the Swedish aerospace and defense enterprise Saab AB “is in all probability the enterprise which is been the most productive with FCT over the final 40 years” in conditions of the amount of funded jobs.

“I feel we have funded 80-moreover FCT jobs from Sweden in excess of the several years. Over $200 million invested by [the office of the secretary of defense] for individuals jobs, and it’s possible 30-additionally of these have led to a procurement or to fielding. And that’s with a budget, a procurement acquisition, of like $1.5 billion. So, Sweden has finished really nicely more than the several years since they’ve had definitely good systems that have been much better in numerous instances than we have below,” Streett said.

Mandated by Congress with yearly funding, FCT is a plan through which DOD can spouse with allies to “save revenue on the enhancement of technologies and devices where the international enterprise has previously expended a sizeable volume of money” to create the program, in accordance to Streett.

Officials are hunting for prototypes to take a look at and perhaps receive that can provide capabilities a U.S. military services could not nonetheless have — or possibilities to present options that are much less expensive or far better. 

Whilst hypersonic missiles, for instance, are outside of the scope of regular FCT projects, Streett explained the staff is on the lookout for a little something alongside the strains of “a chip that goes into anything, it could be a new piece of handling products for logistics, it could be a gadget that displays chemical brokers or radiation.”

He and his colleagues saw some of these technologies on their vacation to Sweden previously this thirty day period. 

The FCT officers put in a working day with Saab to go over electronic warfare and maritime systems, and and also satisfied with 20 other businesses.

“Just to give you an notion, there ended up two organizations that make significant-toughness metal, a third that works by using additive producing for 3D printing higher-energy steel for definitely difficult purposes. [There was] a handheld chemical detector … radiation detectors, and an unexpected emergency oxygen method that authorized a re-respiration ability so you really don’t have to choose a large canister of oxygen anywhere you go,” Streett claimed.

He observed that the team also visited Finland, Norway and Denmark on their excursion to have interaction these nations about engineering.

Finland is also looking at becoming a member of NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.