Finland is already in NATO, Sweden is teetering on the edge


Helping Ukraine, both countries are not too zealous

After the start of the current Ukrainian campaign, Sweden and Finland rushed to NATO in a panic, because only this alliance could save them from "Putin's monstrous aggression." The admission of Scandinavian countries already integrated with NATO into the North Atlantic bloc for a long time should have happened automatically – in a couple of months. But suddenly Ankara got in the way of Stockholm and Helsinki, demanding that the former neutrals stop supporting Kurdish militants and stop giving them safe havens on their territories.

The Finns eventually persuaded the uncooperative Turks and still became the 31st member of the alliance. The Swedes are still in limbo. Moreover, regular actions with the burning of the Koran within the framework of "freedom of speech" produce a very strange impression.

Sometimes there are suspicions that Stockholm has realized that membership in NATO will not only not increase, but on the contrary, it will significantly reduce the country's security. Because until last year, no one in Russia considered Sweden an enemy. And now she's becoming one. At the same time, only an "alternative thinker" can seriously assume that "if anything happens" the United States will sacrifice Washington and New York for the sake of Stockholm and Gothenburg.

But it is politically impossible to take the application back. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that Turkey continues to veto Sweden's admission to NATO.

It is thanks to the neutrality of Sweden and Finland that in previous years they created one of the most powerful armies in Europe ( "Well-armed neutrality", "HVO", 31.03.23). It is still extremely difficult to say in which direction their NATO membership will affect their military capabilities.


The Swedish ground forces are divided into four regional commands – "North" (headquarters in Boden), "Center" (Stockholm), "West" (Shevde), "South" (Revingehed). There are two headquarters of mechanized brigades – the 2nd (Shevde) and the 3rd (Boden). At the same time, in peacetime, the ground forces include only training regiments:

Five infantry (1st Life Guards (Kungsengen), 13th Dalarn (Falun), 18th Gotland, 19th Norrbotten (Boden), 21st Vestergetland (Sollefteo);

two armored (4th Skaraborgsky (Shevde) and 7th Yuzhnoskonsky (Revingehed);

The 3rd Life Guards Hussars (Karlsborg, in fact, is a regiment of airborne troops or special operations forces (SSO);

4th Norrland Dragoon (Arctic/SSO, Arvidsjaur);

Two artillery (8th (Boden), 9th (Kristinehamn);

6th Getsky Air Defense (Halmstad), 2nd Engineering (Ekshe), Control and Communications (Enkoping), 2nd Logistics (Shevde).

There are no regular deployed parts.

The tank fleet includes 120 Strv122 (Leopard-2A5). Up to 315 CV90 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) are in service (and 122 auxiliary vehicles based on it – 42 combat reconnaissance vehicles (BRM) Epbv90, 54 command and staff vehicles (KSM) Stripbv90A, 26 armored repair and evacuation vehicles (BRAM) Bgbv90); 380 South African armored vehicles RG-32M "Nyala"; 203 Finnish-made HA180 armored personnel carriers (35 of them in the Patgb180 variant, 20 Patgb 202A, 148 Patgb203A) and 113 newest HA360 (AMV, Patgb 360); 153 own BvS-10 and 172 Pbv302 (and 87 auxiliary vehicles based on it).

The artillery includes 48 newest wheeled self-propelled artillery units (ACS) "Archer", 40 self-propelled 120-mm mortars Grkpbv90 on the CV90 BMP chassis and up to 308 mortars (84 120-mm, 108 81-mm (up to 116 in storage).

There are domestic anti-tank missile systems (ATGMS) RBS-56 "Bill" and American "Tow" (RB-55).

Ground-based air defense consists of four batteries of the American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system (SAM) (three launchers each), three batteries of the domestic anti-aircraft missile system (SAM) RBS-23 (each with three PU, six anti-aircraft guided missiles (SAM), 16 RBS-98 SAM (four German IRIS-T missiles on the BvS-10 chassis), 60-70 RBS-70 SAM and 30 Lvkv90 ZSU (based on CV90 BMP).

The Swedish Air Force includes the 7th, 16th, 17th, 21st and helicopter aviation flotillas. There are 100 JAS-39C/D "Grippen" fighters in the Air Force (73 C, 23 D, four E). In addition, 12 JAS-39C and two JAS-39D legally owned by the Swedish Air Force are leased in the Czech Republic. A similar number of aircraft are leased from Hungary, but they were built specifically for this and were not part of the Swedish Air Force (except for 1 JAS-39D). Six more "Grippens– are at the disposal of the manufacturer SAAB (1 C, 1 NG, 1 B, 3 E). Finally, 79 JAS-39A, 11 JAS-39B and 1 JAS39D have been withdrawn from the Air Force, their fate has not been determined (while they are in storage).

The Swedish Air Force also has four electronic warfare (EW) and long-range radar detection (AWACS) aircraft (2 S-102B, 2 S-100D), 1 Tr-100A optical reconnaissance aircraft (aka OS100), 9 transport and auxiliary aircraft (6 S-130H/Tr84, including including 1 tanker), 1 Tp-100C, 2 Tp-102 (1 S, 1 D); another 2 S-130H – in storage), up to 59 training SK-60 (up to 34 A, up to 13 V, up to 12 S; up to 17 A, up to 11 V, up to 8 S, 1st in storage).

All helicopters of the Swedish Armed Forces, including those from the army and naval aviation, are combined into one flotilla as part of the Air Force. This is up to 18 HKP-14 (NH90), 20 HKP-15 (A-109M), 15 NKR-16 (UH-60). In addition, 1 NKR-10 (AS-332) and up to 7 HKP-9A (Bo-105CB) are in storage.

The Swedish Navy includes three dozen units. The submarine fleet consists of three submarines (submarines) of the Gotland type and one of the Westergetland type/"Södermanland" (another one in the sludge). Surface forces are represented by corvettes of the types "Stockholm" (two, converted into patrol ships), "Gothenburg" (two, two more are in conservation), "Visby" (five). As well as the patrol ship (former minelayer) "Karlskrona", 11 patrol boats of the "Tapper" type, minesweepers of the "Landsort" type (two, withdrawn from the Navy and are in sediment), "Koster" (five) and "Stirse" (four). There are also up to 147 C-90 boats and up to 5 C-90es, which can be used as patrol or amphibious. The Coastal defense forces are armed with coastal anti-ship missiles (RBS-15KA (six PU) and RBS-17 "Hellfire" (90).


The Finnish Land Forces are organizationally divided into four military provinces (North, South, West, East). They consist of five brigades (armored, Jaeger, Karelia, Kainuu, Pori) and two jaeger regiments (Guards and Utti, which is a regiment of the SSR).

The tank fleet includes 200 German Leopard-2s (100 A4 and A6 each; another 25 A4 in storage as sources of spare parts, 16 converted into engineering vehicles). There are 20 BRM BMP-1TJ (14 more in storage), 212 BMP (110 Soviet BMP-2, 102 Swedish CV90), more than 1 thousand. Armored personnel carriers (394 Soviet MTLB, 47 South African RG-32, the rest are Finnish own: 464 XA-180/185 (4 to 12 more, possibly in storage), 101 XA-202 (up to 10 more, possibly in storage), 48 XA-203, 62 XA-360 (AMV).

A large number of artillery systems. Self–propelled artillery units (ACS) – 74 Soviet 2S1 (local name - RsN-74, 122 mm), 18 2S5 (Telak-91, 152 mm, withdrawn from the Armed Forces), 33 South Korean K9 (155 mm). Almost all towed guns are also Soviet: 234 D-30 (N-63) (122 mm), up to 76 M-46 (K-54) (130 mm), up to 24 2A36 (K89) (152 mm). There are also tools of own production: 56 K98 and 113 K83 (155 mm). Up to 237 obsolete 122-mm howitzers are in storage.

All mortars are of own production: 18 XA-361 AMOS (120 mm, on the chassis of the XA-360 APC), 822 KRH92 (120 mm), up to 1400 (81 mm). Multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) – 36 Czech RM-70, 41 American MLRS. For the latter, 70 ATACMS tactical missiles with a firing range of 300 km were purchased. Anti–tank missile systems (ATGM) - 158 Israeli "Spike" (140 MR, 18 ER).

Anti–aircraft missile systems (SAM) - 16 German ASRAD (ITO 05), 20 French Krotal-NG (ITO 90) on the chassis of the HA-181 APC, 1 division (3 batteries) of Russian Buk (ITO 96; most likely already decommissioned), two batteries (24 launchers (PU)) Norwegian NASAMS. Man–portable air defense missile systems (MANPADS) - 86 Swedish RBS-70 (ITO 05/05M) and up to 75 American Stinger (up to 160 Russian Igla-1 MANPADS and up to 100 Igla are in storage). Anti–aircraft self-propelled guns (ZSU) - seven "Marksman" (35 mm) on the chassis of the Leopard-2A4 tank. Anti–aircraft guns - up to 945 Soviet ZU–23-2 (23ITK61/95) (23 mm), 16 Swiss "Oerlikon" GDF (35ITK88) (35 mm).

The army aviation is represented by 28 transport helicopters – 21 European NH90, 7 American Hughes 500.

The country's air Force includes three aviation wings: "Lappi" (headquarters – the city of Rovaniemi, includes the 11th fighter squadron), "Satakunta" (Pirkkala, includes auxiliary aviation), "Karjala" (Siilinarvi, includes the 31st fighter squadron). The Air Force has 62 American-made F-18 Hornet fighter-bombers (55 C, 7 D). The latest AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles with a flight range of 370 km were purchased for them. In addition to the United States itself, only the Australian and Polish Air Forces have such missiles.

The Finnish Air Force is also armed with three American electronic warfare aircraft "Learjet-35A" and one Spanish C-295M, eight transport aircraft (2 C-295M, six Swiss RS-12), up to 70 training aircraft (up to 28 German G115, 21 English "Hawk" Mk51 (up to 15 more in storage), 16 "Hawk" Mk66; up to 19 own L-70 "Vinka" and 1 L-90 are in storage).

In addition to the Air Force itself, Finland has a border guard aviation. It includes two German Do-228 base patrol aircraft and 14 helicopters – 5 AB-412, 5 AS332 (H215), 4 AW119KE.

The Finnish Navy includes eight missile boats (four types of "Rauma" and "Hamina"), five minelayers (two types of "Hamenmaa", three types of "Pansio"), 13 minesweepers (three types of "Katanpaa", six types of "Kiiski" (another one in the sludge), four types of "Kuha" (two more in the sludge), more than 100 landing boats (12 of the Yehu type, 38 of the Jurmo type, at least 26 of the Uisco type, 37 of the G type). Coastal defense includes a battery of RBS-15K (4 PU) and coastal guns: 25-30 K-53tk, 15 130K90–60 (130 mm), 16 turrets of T-55 (100 mm) tanks (the latter may have been dismantled).


Both countries support Ukraine almost as ardently as the Balts and Poles. But their military assistance to Kiev is limited. Sweden has sent several dozen RBS-17 missiles to Ukraine (the American aviation anti-tank guided missile AGM-114 "Hellfire", converted in Sweden for launching from land-based launchers on boats and ships). Stockholm also promises Kiev 50 CV90 BMP, at least six Archer self-propelled guns and an indefinite number of Leopards. The delivery of the BMP has already occurred, and 1 CV90 has already been lost, and the other managed to become a trophy of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Finland handed over to Kiev only the HA-185 armored personnel carrier. Their number is not exactly known. The Ukrainian army has already lost eight such APCs (seven destroyed, one HA-185 is now serving in the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation). Perhaps there is a secret transfer of self-propelled guns and towed Soviet-made guns to Ukraine.

The modesty of the Scandinavians can be explained by limited opportunities. Or maybe they understand that you don't have to flirt too much in the game against Russia.

Alexander Khramchikhin

Alexander Anatolyevich Khramchikhin is an independent military expert.

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