Sweden deploys Patriot air defense system in first live operation-Xinhua

Sweden deploys Patriot air defense system in first live operation

Source: Xinhua| 2023-02-07 00:44:00|Editor: huaxia

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Swedish Armed Forces have ordered the deployment of the Patriot air defense system in Gothenburg, the country's second largest city, Aftonbladet newspaper reported on Monday.

It is the first time since it was delivered in 2021 that the system is deployed for a live operation in Sweden.

Therese Fagerstedt, head of press at the Swedish Armed Forces, told the newspaper that the operation in Gothenburg was not a training exercise.

"The west coast with the port of Gothenburg is strategically important due to the transports entering there and it is, therefore, crucial that we can use this system to protect the country from an attack," Fagerstedt told Aftonbladet.

According to the Swedish Armed Forces, the risk of an armed attack on the country is low, although the possibility cannot be ruled out, Aftonbladet reported.

Sweden's Defense Minister Pal Jonson, told the newspaper that the operation "is not prompted by any immediate threat, but the security policy situation for Sweden has deteriorated over time so it is important that the Swedish Armed Forces can carry out operations like this."

Patriot is a surface-to-air missile defense system currently used by 17 countries and regions, according to U.S. defense contractor Raytheon, which manufactures it.

In 2018, the U.S. administration approved Sweden's request to procure the system up to a value of 3.2 billion U.S. dollars, Swedish Television (SVT) reported in December, when Sweden ordered a further delivery of interceptor missiles.

The country has four Patriot systems, but the number of missiles is classified, SVT reported.