Sweden submits order for more Patriot missiles from the US

Sweden's Defence Material Administration has ordered another set of Patriot surface-to-air missiles from the US.

Sweden submits order for more Patriot missiles from the US
A patriot missile system on display at a military exhibition in Nyhamnen in Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden previously requested the Patriot system, known in Sweden as Air Defence System 103, in November 2017, and reached a procurement agreement with the US government in 2018.

This month, the last of four deliveries of Patriot batteries was completed, marking the end of the first part of the Patriot deal.

Now, with this final delivery completed, Sweden has placed another order.

“Patriot has been developed to be able to target helicopters, airplanes, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles, pretty much all air targets,” Christer Mellgren,  project manager for Air Defense System 103, told SVT. “I cannot go into the number of missiles that we ordered, but it is within the limit approved by the American Congress.”

According to the Defence Material Administration, the first part of the deal cost 9-10 billion kronor, and the Swedish Armed Forces have allocated some 3.2 billion dollars for the deal in total.

According to SVT, the missiles themselves are the most expensive part of the Patriot system. While Sweden has been granted permission by the US government to purchase up to 300 missiles, it is unknown how many have been ordered. 

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Jailed Swedish spy admits selling information to the Russians

Peyman Kia, 42, the eldest of the two brothers jailed in January for spying for Russia's GRU intelligence service, has for the first time admitted to passing over information for money.

Jailed Swedish spy admits selling information to the Russians

Kia had a long career in Swedish intelligence official, working for the security police, Säpo, as well as the Swedish Armed Forces and their military intelligence service, Must. He was sentenced to life in prison in January for what has been called Sweden’s worst-ever spy scandal. 

Throughout the court case last year, Kia and his brother claimed innocence, but now, in a new interview with Säpo, he has for the first time started to admit what he did. 

“It was quite simply to earn money for myself,” he told Säpo in an interview, according to the broadcaster TV4, although he played down the importance of the information he had passed over. 

“I have never been in direct contact [with GRU], actually physically. On the first occasion it was real intelligence information, it was ‘live’ intelligence information, and I got paid for it. Then messages came back and forth, and on the second occasion I sent information it was 100 percent false, totally invented, and it was invented because they started to make detailed requests”. 

“Based on the orders which came, I pulled off a con and made it up entirely, giving information I thought could be considered probable, and I got compensation for that too.” 

He told Säpo his first contact had been with the foreign intelligence service, SVR, but that he had been passed to Russia’s military intelligence wing, the GRU, after his first delivery of information. 

He said that Russian intelligence’s increased activity in Sweden had been connected to the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, and that in 2014, when he began feeding information to Russia, most of the information had been about the hunt for Russian submarines in the Swedish archipelago. 

“That’s all they were interested in. It was everything about the submarine hunt, who was working on it, and what information have they managed to collect,” he said. 

He said it had been his little brother, Payam Kia, who had posted envelopes to the Russian embassy addressed with just the three letters GRU. 

He has also told Säpo more about how the work was done, talking about a dead letter box he set up in the removable ceiling in the toilet of a public library, and a security box hidden in a false book in his family’s bookshelf where he hid his Iranian passport and ID.