The Försvarets materielverk (FMV) is the procurement authority in the subordinate structure of the Swedish Ministry of Defence and responsible for the supply of materiel to the Swedish defence organisation.
It is located in Stockholm. Its 3,400 employees manage around 800 ongoing projects at 40 locations throughout Sweden. ESD had the opportunity to speak with LtGen. Göran Mårtensson, Director General of FMV.
ESD: You assumed your position as the Director General of the FMV defence procurement authority in February 2016. Today, three years later, what do you regard as your major achievements, and which objectives have yet to be achieved?
Mårtensson: Major achievements include the procurement and contract award for the PATRIOT system, new anti-ship missiles, a new light torpedo system and a new mortar version of the CV 90 armoured vehicle. Also, the continuous development of the type A26 submarine and GRIPEN E, with the first successful test flight in June 2017, are two highlights. I also want to mention some important deliveries to the armed forces during my time as Director General, such as the ARCHER artillery system, trucks and FOC of the METEOR missile.
The Swedish Parliament is working on a proposal for a revised plan for the development of the armed forces. The plan will be presented on 14 May 2019 and must of course be processed in Parliament prior to a decision, but we anticipate an increase in defence funding which will affect the armament sector. We expect an increase in investments both in existing systems and procurement of new capabilities. An increased ambition together with an increasingly complex and resource-intensive procurement process require FMV to expand our own capabilities and develop a more effective working method. This will be a crucial task in the coming years in order to successfully harness the fast-paced technological development and meet the needs of the armed forces.
ESD: In light of the current threat environment in Europe many western countries have again focussed the alignment of their armed forces on territorial and national defence. Does that also apply for Sweden, and if so, what are the implications for the armament sector?
Mårtensson: As part of Sweden’s new orientation for our defence and security policy, in support of which our Parliament decided to substantially increase defence spending and to refocus the Armed Forces towards national defence in June 2015, the number one priority is to increase the operational capability of the armed forces.
ESD: What are the major defence procurement programmes for the Swedish armed forces – current and future? Are any of these programmes executed in cooperation with other countries?
Mårtensson: Ongoing major programmes include the procurement of the next generation fighter, the GRIPEN, in the version 39E, and new submarines, the type A26. In addition, we upgrade our air defence capability by adding the PATRIOT system, we also procure new anti-ship missiles as well as a new light torpedo system. This will increase our capability within the naval area where we also upgrade existing vessels like the GÄVLE Class corvettes and GOTLAND Class submarines. For the ground forces, we make significant investments to extend the life time of our current fleet of combat vehicles. We have also procured a new mortar version of CV 90.
Some of these major defence programmes are executed in cooperation with other nations, e.g. procurement of trucks with Norway and the Nordic Combat Uniform system (NCU) which is a cooperation within the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO).
ESD: What does Sweden expect from the recent European CSDP initiatives PESCO, CARD and EDF? Are there current PESCO initiatives involving Sweden’s participation?
Mårtensson: We are one of the member states most active in EDA groups and projects and welcome both CSDP initiatives, PESCO and CARD. The results from these initiatives must be a good balance between the member states’ national needs and our common requirements.
We also welcome EDF within a modernised and reduced expenditure structure in the next MFF (multi annual financial framework). Sweden is pleased that the EDF proposal, as agreed by the member states in November, and hopefully by the Parliament after the trialogue, is inclusive to all active actors within the defence area in EU; industry, academia, research institutes and SMEs regardless of ownership. At the same time, we regret that the EDF proposal’s provisions for cooperation with third state actors are strict, as cooperation with our strategic partners outside of the EU would support a competitive Europe with a strong technical and industrial knowledge base.
Sweden is pleased that the research activities in the EDF will be conducted with a focus on excellence, and that the selection of projects for the whole programme will be merit-based thereby enabling the best proposals to receive funding. This will further support a competitive knowledge base in the union.
When it comes to PESCO, Sweden is involved in four projects:
a) European Union Training Mission Competence Centre (EU TMCC);
b) EU Test and Evaluation Centres;
c) European Medical Command;
d) Military Mobility.
ESD: In what areas can the materiel requirements of the Swedish armed forces be responded to by the national defence industrial base, and in what areas do you have to cooperate with foreign suppliers?
Mårtensson: The Swedish defence industrial base produces several major types of materiel systems, such as fighter aircraft, submarines, combat vehicles, radar systems and artillery systems, that have been exported to customer countries around the world. The CV90 combat vehicle, for example, has been delivered to several countries including Switzerland and the GRIPEN E is a candidate in the ongoing NFA procurement.
Large weapon systems are themselves a system of systems. In a competitive global market, some subsystems are sourced from foreign suppliers in order to optimise the overall solution. To what degree the Swedish defence industry can independently produce all subsystems varies between the platforms. Some subsystems, e.g. weapons, can be replaced or included depending on the specific preference of the customer.
ESD: The Swedish defence industry is quite active on export markets, including e.g. Switzerland as a country with a requirement to replace its current fighter aircraft fleet. To what extent can FMV support export efforts of the Swedish industry?
Mårtensson: FMV, through its export office, acts as a focal point coordinating the needs of the Swedish defence industry for governmental support in export efforts. This could be in the form of e.g. government-to-government agreements, use of military personnel for demonstrations, visits to Swedish military premises and coordinating Swedish delegations at defence exhibitions. Such activities can involve or be carried out by different Swedish defence authorities and agencies, including the armed forces.
As the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration FMV can also offer export customers cooperation in procurement, maintenance, logistics and development of the exported materiel. That way, the initial procurement will grow into a long-term partnership with mutual benefits.
ESD: Are there any offset and compensation requirements for foreign suppliers?
Mårtensson: The short answer is “no”. Sweden used to have an offset policy but decided to abolish it while implementing the Defence Procurement Directive 2009/81 EC back in 2011.
The questions were asked by Jürgen Hensel.