• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Sweden's best-selling defence products

Ann Törnkvist · 26 Feb 2014, 06:56

Published: 25 Feb 2014 14:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Feb 2014 06:56 GMT+01:00

Following news this week of soaring Swedish defence sales, we take a closer look at who is buying what. 

Both Thailand and South Africa have bought Sweden's prize defence asset, the Jas 39 Gripen fighter jet, with talks underway with Brazil and Switzerland, where the controversial deal has been tied up in a citizens-initiative referendum.

Despite the Swiss delay, the fighter jet comes out on top as one of Sweden's biggest money-spinning defence exports. It also brings in cash when Sweden rents out planes to other countries.

"The Swedish state has entered into leasing deals with Hungary and the Czech Republic, and that doesn't show up in export statistics but accounts for a lot of income," Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls deputy director Jan-Erik Lövgren told The Local.

The Saab press team obviously has a poet on board as its website has this to say about Sweden's signature jet: "Gripen is no ordinary fighter. It is your pride. It is your wings." The jet was introduced to the market in 1997, which was only fours year after a prototype crashed over Stockholm. The pilot, thankfully, survived. As did future sales. 

Watch amateur footage from the Jas Gripen crash in 1993

The second-best seller is Hägglunds Combat Vehicle 90. Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands have all parted with cash to buy it, ISP head Lövgren noted. But why? Well, notice the northern postal code on all those destinations... the combat vehicle is designed specifically for winter climates and can carry up to eight soldiers and all their gear.

The third-best seller marks a double whammy in the top three for Saab, with its airborne early warning and control system.

"Another big product has been the airborne radar Erieye, which sits on the roof of a small passenger plane. That's been sold to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand," said Lövgren.

Learn more from this Saab promotional video

While the Jas 39 Gripen, the Hägglunds Combat Vehilcle 90, and the Eriey together make up 42 percent of all exports, there's no shortage of other products that have stood the test of time. In February 2014, Saab announced that the US military had made its Carl Gustaf grenade rifle standard issue. It's an export that has stood the test of time.

Story continues below…

"The Carl Gustaf was first launched in 1948," Lövgren noted. "So last year that made it 65 years on the market."

Looking further back, the Swedes were big on the naval front.

"What was once Swedish company Bofors, and which is now BAE Systems, sold a lot of naval artillery," Lövgren said "It was really a big product."

Saab to this day is an important naval supplier. Call it a naval warfare dashboard, if you want, Saab describes its 9LV as a system that "brings you all the ship sensors, weapons and communications into a single, highly-integrated entity at your fingertips".
 

Ann Törnkvist (ann.tornkvist@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Migration agency ’to get rid of LGBT experts’
Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

An internal report looking at ways to make Sweden’s Migration Agency more efficient has proposed the agency gets rid of specialists dedicated to LGBT-related issues. The move has prompted the country’s main gay rights group to see red.

Sweden's Spotify hits 39 million subscribers
Spotify is gaining listeners. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Spotify has grown by nine million paying subscribers in five months, fending off competition from rivals.

Prosecutor wants asylum stabber convicted of murder
Prosecutor Linda Wiking. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The man was convicted of aggravated manslaughter for stabbing a worker to death at a home for young refugees in Sweden.

Old Swedish cash worth billions still in circulation
Old Swedish money. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT

Hand in your invalid Swedish bills to the bank by the end of the month.

Sweden moves to battle high rate of drug deaths
Sweden has among Europe's highest drug-induced mortality rates. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB/TT

Sweden has among the highest number of drug-related deaths in the EU despite its zero-tolerance policy. The government wants to find out why.

Human skeleton found on abandoned farm in Sweden
Police at the farm in Hörby. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect human remains found in a well on an abandoned farm in rural Sweden belonged to a man who was murdered.

The Local List
You'll never really be Swedish without trying this weird food
Kebab pizza. It exists. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The Local's intern Saina Behnejad on her love-hate relationship with Swedish cuisine.

Sweden's Stenson pulls out of Barclays with injured knee
Henrik Stenson at the Olympics this summer. Photo: AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Henrik Stenson's injury throws doubt on Europe's chances at next month's Ryder Cup.

The Local Recipes
How to make this delicious Swedish crayfish pasta
Swedish crayfish pasta. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Combine the Swedish favourite of crayfish with pasta to impress with this simple yet tasty dish.

Drunken Christmas goat burner risks four years in jail
The Christmas goat looks at the fireworks and contemplates its future. Photo: Mats Åstrand/TT

His singed eyebrows were a dead giveaway.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,375
jobs available