Sweden seeks pact on defence ties
Accepts ‘Make in India’ dimension
Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched down in Sweden for bilateral discussions and a Nordic region summit, Sweden’s Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist urged for a longterm agreement in defence cooperation, since both countries are non-aligned countries and have many common values.
In an interview with The
Hindu, Mr. Hultqvist specifically addressed India’s recent request for information on the Saab Group’s Gripen jet fighter, saying, “We are interested in a long-term relationship with India, for the production and delivery of JAS Gripen system to India. I think we can offer a highquality product at a competitive price.”
The Minister explained that regarding the key question of technology transfer, Sweden would offer a “very good alternative that includes everything that can make a system working … for a long time with a high level of operational capabilities.”
It is understood that Brazil recently made a similar request for Saab’s Gripen fighter and ended up purchasing 36 units. Other countries that recently sought the Swedish jet are Thailand and South Africa.
He added that Stockholm had accepted that the “Make in India” dimension would be part of the agreement, including “production and development in India.”
Asked if Swedish defence sales in South Asia, including to countries such as Pakistan, could conceivably alter the strategic balance, Mr. Hultqvist said Sweden’s export control law required each export application to be subject to an overall assessment by a competent liaising authority from all relevant defence, security and foreign policy perspectives.