NATO is getting the best tank in the world

Now NATO is getting the best tank in the world

Updated March 8, 2024 – 9:21 amReading Time: 4 min.

Swedish tanks for Ukraine: That's what the CV-90 is all about. (Quelle: T-Online)
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With the addition of Sweden, NATO is expanding its defense capabilities. It is not only about the size of the armed forces, but also about their weapons.

The most important things at a glance

It has been 21 months since Sweden applied to join NATO. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced in May 2022 that this should actually happen very quickly. But Turkey initially blocked Sweden's entry and demanded the extradition of Kurdish opposition members to ratify it. Shortly after Turkey ended its blockade in January 2024, the US government began selling F-16 fighter jets to Ankara.

And Hungary has long been a standoff around Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. However, on Thursday, it was the last member state to submit a decision of ratification of Sweden's accession to the US State Department in Washington.

Sweden is now officially a member of NATO. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson and Foreign Minister Tobias Billström completed the accession process on Thursday during a visit to Washington.


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As a final step, they deposited a document on Swedish annexation with the US State Department. The ministry is responsible for registering documents related to the North Atlantic Treaty, the alliance's founding treaty.

Sweden's annexation has important advantages for the military alliance, including strategic ones. An overview:

How big is Sweden's armed forces?

Sweden introduced compulsory military service six years ago, which is largely voluntary. According to the Atlantic Council, 5,000 to 6,000 new veterans are hired each year. In the future, Sweden wants to recruit 10,000 new recruits a year to increase its army to 50,000.

The Swedish government increased its defense budget by 2.2 billion euros to more than 10 billion euros for 2024. This means that Sweden meets NATO's two percent guideline, according to which each member state invests two percent of its own GDP in defense.

How is Sweden equipped militarily?

What makes Sweden important to NATO is not just the number of soldiers, but above all their training and equipment. “Contrary to accessions in recent years, Finland and Sweden are two states with the most modern equipment. They can make a massive contribution to the security of NATO countries from day one,” military expert Carlo Masala told D-Online last year.

Sweden has a well-developed and broad-based defense sector. For example, it produces the CV90 infantry fighting vehicle, which is also available to Ukraine. Of particular importance will be the Saab fighter jets, which are developed in Sweden and form the backbone of the Air Force. The Saab JAS 39 Gripen was developed in the 90s, but continued to be further developed. According to a report by the Atlantic Council, Sweden has about 100 fighter jets, which are said to be characterized by low maintenance requirements. In addition, short runways are sufficient for them.

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