Sweden stands ready to bolster anti-aircraft defense amid tensions with Russia

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GOTLAND, Sweden – On Monday, Swedish military officials said they would install an upgraded ground-to-air missile system in Gotland, a new sign of tensions in the region with Russia, Reuters reports.

The new system, developed by the Saab company, would replace the air defense systems that were part of the military arsenal on the Swedish island. Micael Byden, supreme commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, pointed out that Gotland is an important area both strategically and militarily.

“Its geographical location gives the island significant military advantages in terms of protection and control of maritime traffic, Baltic airspace and the ability to install military units and capabilities,” Byden said.

Gotland is about 330 kilometers from Kaliningrad, Russia. According to the publication, although it is not a member of NATO, Sweden has close ties with the Atlantic Alliance and has been reinforcing itself militarily because of concern about Russia’s influence in the Baltic Sea region .

In recent years, Sweden has complained of several incidents involving Russian military aircraft, including violations of Swedish airspace.

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Earlier this year, Swedish Air Force commander Mats Helgesson said the Saab Gripen E fighter is capable of beating Russian Sukhoi aircraft in an air combat, according to the Business Insider portal.

Sukhoi fighters have achieved the status of legendary for their high maneuverability and supremacy over American airplanes in the air thanks to dangerous and aggressive tricks, the issue claimed.

The US Air Force is betting on stealth technologies. Meanwhile, Gripen engineers are not attempting to lessen the visibility of the hunt, but rather modernize the on-board radio-electronic warfare systems.

Gotland is about 330 kilometers from Kaliningrad, Russia. According to the publication, although it is not a member of NATO, Sweden has close ties with the Atlantic Alliance and has been reinforcing itself militarily because of concern about Russia’s influence in the Baltic Sea region.

In recent years, Sweden has complained of several incidents involving Russian military aircraft, including violations of Swedish airspace.

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