WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale of four Patriot air-and-missile defense systems to Sweden for an estimated total of $3.2 billion.
Sweden chose the Raytheon-manufactured Patriot for its new AMD system over the French consortium Eurosam’s SAMP/T late last year.
The Swedish government announced its decision on Nov. 7, 2017, via its website. Sweden planned to send a letter of request for a letter of offer and acceptance to the U.S. government that would trigger the process, according to the online post.
Sweden anticipated the value of the contract as roughly 10 billion krona (U.S. $1.2 billion). While $3.2 billion is far above that estimate, it’s possible, as negotiations continue, that the price could come down.
Sweden requested four Patriot Configuration 3+ modernized fire units that include four AN/MPQ-65 radars; four control stations; nine antenna masts; 12 M903 launching stations; 100 GEM-T missiles, or Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile Tactical Ballistic Missiles; and 200 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement, or MSE, missiles. Lockheed Martin is the missiles supplier.
Raytheon has seen a surge in Patriot sales in Europe, recently minting a deal with Romania to supply them with seven Patriot systems, 56 GEM-T missiles and 168 Patriot MSE missiles. The estimated cost, according to the State Department, is roughly $3.9 billion.
While Sweden is buying less systems, it is buying more firepower to go along with them than Romania.
Poland is also in negotiations to buy Patriot, but it wants a unique configuration of the system as well as offsets, which is slowing the process leading to a final deal.
Raytheon announced in an earnings call last month that it expected a letter of agreement for the Swedish deal in mid-2018 and was also working on another deal with an undisclosed European country.
There are 13 countries that currently operate the Patriot system, with Romania, Sweden and Poland bringing that number up to 16.
Jen Judson is the land warfare reporter for Defense News. She has covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a reporter at Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club's best analytical reporting award in 2014 and was named the Defense Media Awards' best young defense journalist in 2018.