The Swedish government has decided to cut defense spending by 5 billion kronor (715 million U.S. dollars) in the coming years and abandon research into new-generation weapons, local media reported.
The cuts will result in the curtailment of the development of such weapons as new-generation warships, missiles and torpedoes, and over 1,000 people working in military-related industrial enterprises will be laid off, media reports said.
Though the military authorities deem that surface warships are as important as submarines, the development of surface warships will be one of the projects to be abandoned in the coming years.
Another project to be discontinued will be the "torpedo, mine and sensor" (TMS) project being carried out by the company Saab Underwater Systems.
Lars Tossman, CEO of Saab Underwater Systems, expressed regret at the government's decision.
The TMS project is a research program that Sweden has been conducting for some 100 years. Sweden has been playing a leading role in the world in this research field, he noted.
The government said the cuts are part of efforts to modernize the Swedish military. Media reports also said the government made the decision after considering weapons useless in peaceful times.
Swedish Defense Minister Mikael Odenberg has resigned in protest at planned government defense cuts.
The cuts, he said, would damage Sweden's capacity to take part in international operations and would make it impossible for Sweden "to belong to the EU's core in defense matters."
Last Mod: 09 Eylül 2007, 18:26