Nordic Defence Co-operation

The effects of military conflict, or other serious incident, close to Swedish territory is unlikely to affect a single country, and should not have to be met by that country alone. Well-established co-operation between the Nordic countries has strengthened security for many years. These countries currently face similar challenges related to restructuring their armed forces to meet future roles and requirements.

Soldiers and officers from Sodankylä in Finland train with a Swedish armored battalion in Boden in the northern part of Sweden. Photo: Jesper Sundström/Swedish Armed Forces

Defence partnerships with other countries are becoming an increasingly important way of enabling Sweden to develop and maintain its military capabilities in Sweden, and on international missions.

Continued defence co-operation between the Nordic nations is considered especially important for a number of reasons, including: helping to satisfy future operational requirements; improving security in our 'neighbourhood' and enabling countries to jointly take greater regional responsibility for regional security; being better equipped to participate in international missions; offering considerable scope to boost efficiency, quality, and to broaden military capabilities.

Co-operation of this sort does not entail mutual defence obligations. Rather, it complements our partnerships with international bodies such as the UN, NATO and the EU, and will be conducted within the auspices of existing Nordic partnerships.

The vision of future Nordic defence co-operation includes a number of common elements. For example, troop contributions to international peace missions, development, procurement, maintenance and further development of materiel, officer training and exercises.

In essence, it is about finding solutions that enable efficiency and rationalisation gains to be achieved through common readiness that should deliver greater operational efficiency, as well as improved quality, cost effectiveness and ability to maintain a wide set of capabilities.
This also feeds through to procurement and the Nordic defence sector, with enhanced scope to acquire systems tailored to Nordic and global requirements. In the long-term, the Swedish Armed Forces anticipates increased scope for the common training and deployment of military units.