The collected Swedish air defence expertise, as well as a number of foreign guests from US Army and delivering industries, were present during the handover ceremony at the Air Defence Regiment in Halmstad on 18 November. With the acquisition of the new air defence system, Sweden now has three launchers for two types of missiles, a command post, a combined reconnaissance and fire control radar, a power station, a repair unit and towing vehicles.
Army chief Karl Engelbrektson was more than pleased at the formal handover and did not hesitate to use grand words:
“Today is a great day for the Swedish Armed Forces and the Army especially. We have received a new capability for fighting ballistic missiles. The total effect of the LvS103 enhances our capability in a significant way. I will now be able to report to the Defence Minister that the system will obtain initial operational capability (IOC) at the turn of the year”, he says.
Also present at the handover ceremony was Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, who inspected the new materiel with a great interest:
“By means of the LvS103, the Swedish Armed Forces will have the capacity to counter long-range missile and air attacks and we will also be able to fight ballistic missiles. This is a powerful modernization and upgrade of Swedish air defence and Swedish defence capability as a whole, says Peter Hultqvist. “The fact that we have ordered and received an advanced system such as Patriot within three years only, is remarkably well done by all parties.”