Nordic Defence cooperation

The effects of a military conflict, or serious incident, that takes place in the vicinity of Swedish territory, will likely spill over to more than the affected country, and that country should not have to face the conflict on its own. The Nordic countries have a long-standing tradition of defence cooperation, and now all of the Nordic countries are facing similar challenges in restructuring their armed forces to adapt them to future roles and requirements.

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

Defence partnerships with other countries are quickly starting to be vital to Sweden's capability to develop and maintain its military capabilities in Sweden, and on international missions.

Continued defence cooperation between the Nordic nations is considered especially important for a number of reasons: it will help meeting future operational requirements; improve security in our part of the world and enable countries to take greater joint responsibility for regional security; be better equipped to participate in international missions; offer more opportunities to boost efficiency, quality; and to broaden military capabilities.

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

The vision of future Nordic defence cooperation 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.