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Swedish Arms Production: Saab’s Call for Greater State Involvement

Swedish Arms Production in Context

Ever thought about how countries prepare for war? In Sweden, the burning question is about arms production, with Saab CEO Micael Johansson calling for greater state involvement. Seems like serious talk, right? Let’s break down this dense Swedish news for you.

Target: Outmatch Russia

To outpace Russia in this geopolitical chess game, Sweden, and indeed Europe, need to up their arms production game. Interesting to note, estimations indicate that Russia is heading towards producing 4.5 million artillery shells this year, while Europe and the US are expected to barely touch 2.45 million. A clear shortfall, wouldn’t you say?

“To beat Russia, we must build more weapons.” Saab CEO, Micael Johansson

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Saab’s Efforts: A Lone Soldier?

Saab, led by Micael Johansson, is working hard to increase their production of support weapons and ammunition. They’re quadrupling their production from 100,000 units per year before the Ukraine war, to 400,000 units next year.

But the bigger question, as the Saab CEO puts it, is “Are we doing enough?” The answer, according to him, is not so clear.

The Solution: A State-Industry Handshake

How to counter this problem? Johansson proposes two ways – increase production rate (which has sent delivery times soaring), or establish an agreement between the politics, the state, and the industry. The latter, he believes, will prevent companies from risking expensive investments only to end up with empty order books.

“There must be some form of state commitment across political mandate periods.” Saab CEO, Micael Johansson

State Guarantees: A Ray of Hope?

The weapons industry’s demand seems to be swinging like a pendulum. Saab can comfortably expect good orders presently, but they need safeguards against a future slump. This is where the state comes in. Johansson calls for state guarantees, in the form of maintaining a certain volume of production or employing a certain number of people, irrespective of market situations.

“The industry is very ready to take risks, but there must be some form of state commitment.”

Concluding Thoughts

While there are hopeful intentions from the state and industry’s side, the pace of movement seems slow. After two years of war, a viable solution hasn’t been implemented. Although Johansson finds hope in the recent proposals made for providing state guarantees to the defense industry, uncertainties in increased production, supply chain resilience, and delivery times remain.

Our dive into Swedish news concludes with this thought: Is the state-industry handshake the answer to Saab’s call, or is there a better solution out there waiting to be discovered? The ball is in the court of time, waiting to serve the future of the Swedish arms production.

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