Pentagon discovering new Swedish armed service know-how amid talks of NATO expansion
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Brandi Vincent

The Section of Defense is wanting at Swedish military services technology to see if it fulfills U.S. military services desires at a time when Sweden may well be poised to be a part of the NATO alliance.

During their to start with international journey in two many years, officials from the Pentagon’s Overseas Comparative Testing (FCT) plan — which hunts for cutting-edge, non-U.S.-designed merchandise with a significant know-how readiness stage to deploy for Protection Office purposes — not long ago visited the Scandinavian nation. That journey also unfolded as Sweden considers signing up for NATO — and likely bringing its outstanding technological innovation portfolio to the armed service alliance.

Sweden has been a lengthy-time protection spouse with the United States, but has remained outdoors the NATO protection pact. Even so, Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has shifted public feeling in Sweden and prompted a reconsideration of whether the nation need to be a part of NATO.

“As every person claims, it’s a political final decision and no just one has made up their thoughts nonetheless. I feel Sweden, as a tiny- or mid-sized state, has quite quick connections in between the armed service troubles and the engineering. And we are known to be one particular of the world’s most revolutionary international locations. We have some prime-notch technologies,” Swedish Armed Forces Main Scientist, Col. Rickard Stridh informed FedScoop final week at the Household of Sweden, which is positioned in Washington and houses the Swedish Embassy.

Stridh was among quite a few officers who spoke at the 18th U.S.-Sweden Protection Sector Conference, which was hosted by the Countrywide Protection Industrial Association (NDIA).

Bryant Streett, director of mission prototypes in the Pentagon’s office of the undersecretary of defense for analysis and engineering, claimed that Sweden has been a single of the FCT program’s most effective resources of innovative systems. He famous that the Swedish aerospace and protection enterprise Saab AB “is in all probability the business that’s been the most effective with FCT around the last 40 years” in phrases of the range of funded tasks.

“I think we’ve funded 80-furthermore FCT assignments from Sweden in excess of the years. Over $200 million invested by [the office of the secretary of defense] for people assignments, and probably 30-plus of those people have led to a procurement or to fielding. And that is with a funds, a procurement acquisition, of like $1.5 billion. So, Sweden has accomplished incredibly very well around the years because they’ve had definitely good systems that have been superior in lots of cases than we have below,” Streett reported.

Mandated by Congress with annually funding, FCT is a application as a result of which DOD can lover with allies to “save funds on the enhancement of systems and programs in which the international company has already expended a substantial volume of money” to produce the method, in accordance to Streett.

Officers are on the lookout for prototypes to check and potentially receive that can offer capabilities a U.S. armed service support may perhaps not however have — or options to current options that are more affordable or improved. 

Even though hypersonic missiles, for case in point, are past the scope of standard FCT tasks, Streett stated the team is seeking for anything along the strains of “a chip that goes into anything, it could be a new piece of dealing with machines for logistics, it could be a product that displays chemical brokers or radiation.”

He and his colleagues saw some of those systems on their vacation to Sweden previously this thirty day period. 

The FCT officers spent a working day with Saab to explore electronic warfare and maritime systems, and and also fulfilled with 20 other firms.

“Just to give you an concept, there were two companies that make substantial-power metal, a third that takes advantage of additive manufacturing for 3D printing higher-toughness steel for definitely difficult apps. [There was] a handheld chemical detector … radiation detectors, and an emergency oxygen procedure that authorized a re-respiration ability so you really do not have to consider a giant canister of oxygen anywhere you go,” Streett explained.

He noted that the group also frequented Finland, Norway and Denmark on their excursion to interact individuals nations about engineering.

Finland is also taking into consideration joining NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.