Defence budget cuts hit arms industry

Concerns have been raised that government plans to cut the defence budget will threaten Sweden's arms industry.

Defence budget cuts hit arms industry
Photo: Peter Nilsson/Kockums

A project to build a new generation of warships to succeed the Visby class corvettes is to be stopped, according to Svenska Dagbladet. Some 900 people are currently employed in building surface ships at arms-maker Kockums in Karlskrona.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is to visit Karlskrona on Monday, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

An torpedo being developed by Saab in Motala is also set to be axed by the cuts. Around 170 people are currently working on the weapon. Lars Tossmann, CEO of Saab Motala said the decision, if carried through, would be “completely devastating.”

“If this is true it will be the end of a business that has existed in Sweden for 100 years,” he told Svenska Dagbladet.

Ecom, an advanced missile being developed by Saab Bofors Dynamics in Karlskoga, will also be axed in the budget proposal. The project currently employs 30-40 people in Sweden, and is being developed together with the UK and France.

The government has chosen instead to invest 20 million kronor in developing new submarines.