US Secretary of the Navy visits Sweden

The United States Secretary of the Navy, the Honourable Dr. Donald C. Winter, is on a visit to Sweden for the purpose of developing further the bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries and to study the capabilities of the Visby system and the capacity of Kockums shipbuilding facilities.

The United States Secretary of the Navy, the Honourable Dr. Donald C. Winter, is on a visit to Sweden. Photo: Nicklas Gustafsson/ Combat Camera

The United States Navy budget amounts to SEK 780 billion but investment has hitherto been focused mainly on large ocean-going vessels.

The focus has now shifted towards a capability to operate in waters across the whole spectrum from rivers and deltas, through coastal waters to the open ocean, so that countries including the United States are now looking at construction capacity in shipyards around the world for smaller vessels of which the Visby corvette is an interesting example.
"We are now in the process of developing and expanding our units capable of coastal and river operations in so-called 'green water' and 'brown water' areas. One of the vessel types already acquired is a version of the Combat Boat 90H built under licence in the United States", says Dr Winter.

Sweden is seen as a valuable naval partner and the Secretary of the Navy explained that there are numerous points of contact between the two countries’ naval units.
"The exchange and exercise activity with Sweden will continue but the level of this cooperation and the conditions under which it takes place remain to be decided".

Three military maritime zones
Blue-water: Units capable of open ocean operations including, for example, aircraft carriers.
Green-water: Units covering coastal waters and sea areas extending out to 200 nautical miles (370 km).
Brown-water: Smaller patrol and river craft capable of operating in rivers/deltas and littoral regions.