Tasks on land, sea and air
To fulfil combat tasks on land, the Swedish Armed Forces trains its soldiers in different capabilities. In support, they have combat vehicles, tanks and artillery etc. For airborne missions, we have one of the most modern and interoperable aircraft, the JAS 39 Gripen, which can perform in roles ranging from surveillance and reconnaissance to dogfights and bombing missions. The Swedish Armed Forces also has various helicopters and transport aircraft capable of performing military and civilian tasks all round the world. Our helicopters are frequently scrambled for sea rescue missions and to help fight forest fires. At sea, our fleet includes combat vessels, patrol boats, corvettes, submarines and minesweepers.
Typical Swedish Armed Force responsibilities include guarding Sweden’s borders, monitoring marine traffic on behalf of the UN off the coast of Lebanon and clearing mines to secure commercial shipping waters in the Baltic Sea. Another example was deploying the TP 89 Hercules transport plane to take personnel to Thailand following the tsunami catastrophe in 2004.
New tasks in a changing world
During the Cold War, the Swedish Armed Forces’ most important tasks were to protect Sweden’s borders and being ready to combat an armed attack. The world looks very different today and our tasks and capabilities are changing to meet new threats that have arisen. The Swedish Armed Forces is undergoing a process of change in which we are developing a mission-based force, ready to be deployed anywhere trouble arises.
Conflicts arise and spread rapidly and the soldiers and sailors we train at home often perform the greatest benefit abroad. At present, Swedish Armed Forces personnel are deployed all round the world to maintain peace agreements, ensure ethnic conflicts do not blow up and to protect civilian populations in war torn regions.
But our mission-based force is not designed for the international stage only. Several units are at a state of readiness to deal with both civil and military tasks in Sweden. Our mission-based structure is not about working either in Sweden or abroad but about both.
Swedish women and men working for peace and democracy
Being able to successfully handle difficult situations abroad places high demands on our soldiers. Being big, strong and brave is not enough. The women and men we send out must also be empathetic with a strong inner moral compass, if they are to be able to interface both correctly and fairly with people who have endured traumatic experiences.
The Swedish Armed Forces is Sweden’s ultimate instrument for protecting our democracy. Our soldiers have the right to bear and use arms to protect our country. Which is why it is self-evident that everyone who works in the Swedish Armed Forces shares our core democratic values – we must never provide special treatment or discriminate against anyone.
You can read more about Swedish Armed Forces capabilities and capacities on the following pages. You can also learn more about our core values and how our personnel behave in order to discharge their duties in the best possible way.