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Sweden Strengthens Military Ties with France

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Written by: Marina Tovar

Edited by: Clelia Vettori

Supervised by: Syuzanna Kirakosyan

On 31 January 2024, Sweden and France signed an agreement to deepen their partnership, engage in strategic dialogue on security and defence issues, expand cooperation in the field of research and development and advance their overall defence capabilities (Government of Sweden , 2024b). The cooperation extends to their armament industries and includes the production of essential supplies such as ammunitions, propellants, and explosives, thus rendering the European defence technological and industrial base more innovative, competitive, and resilient (Government of Sweden , 2024b). It is worth mentioning that France-Sweden defence cooperation is well- established, dating back to September 2021, when the two issued a joint declaration of intent concerning intensified defence cooperation in international operations and material provision (Government of Sweden , 2024a). Furthermore, in April 2023, they signed a framework arrangement to develop a common, improved version of a medium-range missile, paving the way for further collaboration in anti-tank missiles (Shepard News Team, 2024).

The newest partnership agreement involves the Swedish defence firm Saab and MBDA, a European multinational developer and manufacturer of missiles. As mentioned earlier, the companies signed letters of intent on 31 January 2024 to “strengthen collaboration […] in the anti-tank and air-defence domains” (Saab, 2024)—more specifically, they agreed on supplying the French anti-tank guided missile system, Akeron MP, to Swedish and French armed forces, thus making it the “benchmark weapon” in the field (Saab, 2024). Ultimately, this partnership aims to build long-term capabilities for the countries’ armed forces by developing new variants of missiles that possess advanced features such as beyond-line-of-sight firing.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the agreement further reinforces military cooperation in Europe by engaging in different projects, “particularly as part of the European defence technological and industrial base” (Szumski, 2024). This statement is in line with the Versailles Declaration of March 2022, whereby the EU reaffirmed its support for Ukraine and outlined the Union’s plans for “bolstering defence capabilities and building a more robust economic base” (European Council, 2022). To further support competitiveness and innovation in the EU’s defence industry, the European Commission has established the European Defence Industrial Development Program (EDIDP). The Saab-MBDA partnership aligns with the Programme’s objectives, thus making the European Union less technologically dependent, strategically more autonomous, and generally more sovereign.


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Government of Sweden. (2024a). Bilateral defence cooperation. defence-cooperation/

Government of Sweden. (2024b). Declaration between France and Sweden on a renewed Strategic Innovation Partnership for Sustainable, Digital and Resilient Societies. innovation-partnership-between-france-and-sweden_eng-final.pdf

Masson, H. (2020). European Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP): Results of the calls (15.06.2020). European Commission. EDIDP .pdf

Saab. (2024, January 31). Saab and MBDA to strengthen co-operation. SAAB.

Shephard News Team. (2024, January 31). MBDA and Saab strengthen partnership on anti-tank and air defence systems. Shephard News. partnership-on-anti-tank-and-air-defence-systems

Szumski, C. (2024, January 31). Sweden boosts military ties with France as Macron repeats EU sovereignty call. Euractiv. military-ties-with-france-as-macron-repeats-eu-sovereignty-call/