Czech Republic to Buy Nearly 250 Combat Vehicles From Sweden in Huge Deal
Contrary to its self-professed image as a "humanitarian superpower," Sweden is one of the world's largest arms exporters with an outsized defense industry that churns out a surprising list of arms for a relatively small country of 10 million.
The Czech military will buy 246 Stridsfordon 90 Swedish combat vehicles (outside Sweden also known as CV90) in a a new deal approved by the Eastern European country.
According to the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV), the deal with the BAE Systems Hagglunds, based in the city of Ornskoldsvik, will have a value of SEK 22 billion (over $2 billion).
The agreement will also involve intergovernmental cooperation and integrate parts of the Czech industry into the manufacturing process of the vehicles.
"We welcome another member of the successful CV90 User Group collaboration. When several countries use and develop a system together, it provides great benefits for all users such as increased capabilities, increased availability, increased opportunities for operational cooperation - and all at lower costs," Joakim Wallin, head of of FMV Export Operations said in statement.
The Czech Republic will become the ninth country to operate the Stridsfordon 90. The vehicle is currently available in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. Sweden has also donated 50 vehicles of this type to Kiev in the ongoing conflict as part of its massive arms package that involved self-propelled artillery systems, missiles and ammunition.
What is CV90?
The Stridsfordon 90 is a family of Swedish tracked armored combat vehicles designed by the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration, alongside the companies Hagglunds and Bofors in the mid-1980s to early 1990s. They entered service in Sweden in the mid-1990s and have undergone numerous technological advances due to changing battle requirements.
Developed specifically for the Nordic subarctic climate, the vehicle is touted as featuring good mobility in snow and wetlands while carrying and supporting between six and eight fully equipped soldiers. Other variants include forward artillery observation, command and control, anti-aircraft, armored recovery vehicle, electronic warfare versions and others. Currently, 1,280 vehicles in 15 variants are in service across the eight user states.
Despite historic non-alignment and a pacifist image as a "humanitarian superpower", Sweden is one of the world's largest arms exporters with an expanding defense industry that produces a surprising array of arms for a relatively small country of 10 million, ranging from artillery and to aircraft and even submarines. In recent decades, Sweden has consistently ranked among the largest weapons exporters per capita. The NATO application is therefore often seen as a tool of further expansion for the Nordic nation's outsized defense industry.
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