The Swedish Armed Forces, or Försvarsmakten, is a Government Agency responsible for the peacetime operation of the armed forces of Sweden. The primary task of the agency is to prepare for the defense of the country in the event of war, being able to defend against armed attacks that threaten liberty and independence. The Armed Forces is branched into army, air force and navy. As a government agency it reports to the Swedish Ministry of Defence. The head of armed forces is also the most senior soldier of the country.

Swedish Armed Forces
Military manpower
Military age19 years of age
Availabilitymales age 15-49: 2,062,566 (2001 est.)
Fit for military servicemales age 15-49: 1,802,955 (2001 est.)
Reaching military age annuallymales: 51,506 (2001 est.)
Military expenditures
Dollar figure$5 billion (FY98)
Percent of GDP2.1% (FY98)

Table of contents
1 Branches
2 Possible enemies
3 Current deployments
4 Training
5 Military Ranks
6 Government Agencies reporting to the Ministry of Defence
7 See also
8 References
9 External links


Possible enemies

Main enemy in tactical studies is thought to use equipment from the former
Warsaw Pact, although a specific country is never mentioned for political reasons. The majority of Swedish equipment are NATO compatible, and most scenarios include some form of cooperation with one or more of the NATO members.

Sweden is a non-aligned country, aiming at remaining a neutral country in case of proximate war, and therefore not a formal member of NATO or any other military alliance. Its military is built on conscription, and until the end of the Cold War nearly all males reaching the age of military service were conscripted. In recent years, the number of conscripted males has reduced dramatically, while the number of female volunteers has increased slightly.

Current deployments

Sweden has deployed military forces in Kosovo and Afghanistan, supporting the fragile peace there. Observers from Sweden have been sent to a large number of countries, including Georgia, North Korea and Lebanon.


Officers are trained at the Swedish Armed Forces Military Academy which has establishments at Karlberg Castle outside Stockholm, in Halmstad and in Östersund. Conscripts are trained at the different units of the three branches, the purpose of which primarily being training installations and without significant wartime importance.

Military Ranks

Swedish military ranks, essentially corresponds to those used by the armed forces of the English speaking world. Swedish ranks correspond even more closely to those in German usage due to linguistic similarities. See comparative military ranks.

There are two different systems of rank for commissioned officers, depending on whether one is commissioned according to the system used in the Army, or the one in the Navy. The Air Force and the non-navy Marine Forces uses the same system as the Army.

Army RanksNavy Ranks
FältmarskalkField MarshalFeldmarschall Fleet Admiral 
GenerallöjtnantLieutenant GeneralGeneralleutnantViceamiralVice AdmiralVizeadmiral
GeneralmajorMajor GeneralGeneralmajorKonteramiralRear AdmiralKonteradmiral
BrigadgeneralBrigadier GeneralBrigadegeneralFlottiljamiralCommodoreFlottillenadmiral
ÖversteColonelOberstKommendörCaptainKapitän zur See
Överste löjtnantLieutenant ColonelOberstleutnantKommendörkaptenCommanderFregattenkapitän
MajorMajorMajorÖrlogskaptenLieutenant CommanderKorvettenkapitän
LöjtnantLieutenantOberleutnantLöjtnantLieutenant, Junior GradeOberleutnant zur See
FänrikSecond LieutenantLeutnantFänrikEnsignLeutnant zur See

The rank of Brigadier General was introduced in 2001. The rank and the responsibilities associated with it existed before 2001, but all officers were commissioned as "Colonel First Class", or Överste av första graden, i. e. not a General. The same goes for Flottiljamiral wich used to be Kommendör av första graden, or "Captain First Class". The background for this anomaly was a political will to limit the number of Generals in the armed forces. No Swedish Field Marshals has been appointed since the 19th century.

Warrant Officer & NCO Ranks
FanjunkareSergeant Major
SergeantMaster Sergeant
NCOÖverfurirFirst Sergeant
PrivateVicekorpralLance Corporal

All officers ranks below commissioned officers use the same system of rank independent of their branch of service and are divided into two classes. The higher class, "underofficer", has a status comparable to that of a warrant officer and often carries a responsibility comparable to that of a lower ranking commissioned officer. The lower class, "underbefäl", are the non-commissioned officers of the armed forces. Cadet's hold a rank equivalent to that of a WO "Sergeant", but wear different insignia. The ranks of fanjunkare, överfurir and vicekorpral are rarely used in the regular service. They are however used in volunteer and auxiliary forces.

Government Agencies reporting to the Ministry of Defence

Main article: Government Agencies in Sweden

  • Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, or Försvarets materielverk
  • Swedish National Service Administration, or Pliktverket
  • Swedish National Defence College, or Försvarshögskolan
  • Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment, or Försvarets radioanstalt

  • Swedish Defence Research Agency, or Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut
  • Swedish Coast Guard, or Kustbevakningen
  • Swedish Emergency Management Agency, or Krisberedskapsmyndigheten
  • Swedish Rescue Services Agency, or Räddningsverket
  • Swedish National Board of Psychological Defence, or Styrelsen för psykologiskt försvar

See also


External links