The government of Sweden signed an agreement to purchase Raytheon's Patriot air and missile defense system from the United States.
The agreement, formally referred to as a Letter of Offer and Acceptance, paves the way for Sweden's Patriot force to rapidly reach Initial Operational Capability, Raytheon said in a statement Friday.
Sweden announced in November last year that it had chosen the Patriot missile defence system over Franco-Italian rival Eurosam's SAMP/T missile system, in an estimated one billion-euro deal.
The choice is in line with a 2015 strategy to avoid "the degradation" of regional security, and boost the country's armed forces operational capacity after years of austerity, the Swedish defence ministry had said in a statement.
No details of the deal were given by the ministry, but the body in charge of military acquisitions has valued the contract at 10 billion kronor (1 billion euros, US$1.3 billion).
The Swedish government had said, “based on this tender and the decision of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) on the proposal to acquire a new medium-range air defense system in the 2018 budget bill, the government will make a final decision on the acquisition during 2018.”
Sweden hopes to receive the ground-to-air missiles between 2020 and 2025. The longer-range Patriot system will replace the US Hawk missile system employed in Sweden.
Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, and Spain currently have Patriot. Within the past 12 months Romania and Poland signed Letters of Acceptance for Patriot, becoming the fifth and sixth European nations to procure Raytheon's Patriot system.