Military budget initiatives for 2024
Sweden is currently facing the most serious security situation since the Second World War. This places new demands on military defence.
Together with earlier decisions and annual adjustments, the appropriations for military defence, i.e. appropriations 1:1 to 1:13 in expenditure area 6, will increase by more than SEK 27 billion between 2023 and 2024, an increase of 28 percent.
These appropriations will have thus doubled since 2020. In comparison with what was presented in earlier budgets, military defence appropriations will increase by approximately SEK 700 million in 2024, SEK 1.2 billion in 2025 and SEK 7.4 billion in 2026.
According to NATO’s definition of defence expenditure, which is broader and includes more items than just appropriations 1:1–1:13 in expenditure area 6, Sweden will already meet the NATO target of two percent of GDP in 2024. The NATO guideline also calls for Allies to spend at least 20 percent of annual defence expenditure on new equipment. The Government intends to continue proposing additional resources in the coming years so that the military defence appropriations (1:1–1:13) will equate to two percent of GDP.
Resources for personnel recruitment and retention
Reprioritisation of appropriations for 2024–2025 and planned additional funding for 2026 will enable specific investments in Swedish Armed Forces’ personnel. The aim is to increase numbers and adjust for the effects of new collective agreements and decisions regarding salaries and supplements. With these resources, the Swedish Armed Forces will be better equipped to address longstanding problems with personal protective equipment.
The growth of the Swedish Armed Forces together with planned retirements means recruitment of new officers must increase. Swedish NATO membership will also require NATO structures to be staffed with Swedish officers, further intensifying the need.
The Government will therefore increase the appropriation for officer training by SEK 25 million for 2024, SEK 38 million for 2025 and SEK 50 million for 2026, in comparison with the 2023 appropriation. This means that the appropriation will total SEK 305 million for 2024, SEK 331 million for 2025 and SEK 351 million for 2026.
Activities relating to NATO deterrence and defence measures
Sweden will be a credible, reliable and loyal member of NATO. The Government’s budget includes increased appropriations to the Swedish Armed Forces that will make it possible to plan for activities within NATO’s deterrence and defence measures.
In line with the 2020 Defence Resolution and subsequent agreements, the Budget Bill for 2024 includes substantial increases in the appropriations for military defence aimed at implementing the planned expansion of the war- and peacetime organisations. The enhanced defence capability will benefit both Sweden and NATO.
As a member, Sweden will contribute to NATO’s common budget. In the Budget Bill for 2024, the Government has proposed setting aside SEK 600 million for NATO’s 2024 military budget.
Defence research, development and innovation
The Government will increase the appropriations for defence research, development and innovation so as to improve Sweden’s ability to meet future threats.
Additional funds will be provided to the Swedish Defence Research Agency in 2024–2026. SEK 100 million will be invested in 2024, SEK 143 million in 2025 and SEK 189 million in 2026.
Funding for innovation procurement
Civilian technological development offers an outstanding opportunity for a country like Sweden to solve military problems by adapting new technologies to military applications. If the potential of new technologies cannot be harnessed for military purposes, the development of defence materiel in Sweden will fall behind. The Government will increase the funding for defence innovation and research by SEK 88 million in 2024, SEK 90 million in 2025 and SEK 247 million in 2026.
As a NATO member, Sweden will also contribute to the NATO Innovation Fund, which finances technological development within the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). Sweden will initially contribute approximately SEK 44 million per year.
Investments in foreign intelligence capability
Threats are growing and becoming increasingly complex, and so the need for analysis and assessments by intelligence agencies is increasing. Moreover, technological developments are placing greater demands on technical and digital capabilities. To address growing threats, increasing demands and technological developments, and to ensure that foreign intelligence capability is proportionate to other investments in military defence, additional resources must be allocated starting in 2024.
To enhance foreign intelligence capabilities, based on previous decisions the National Defence Radio Establishment’s appropriation will increase by SEK 200 million in 2024, SEK 600 million in 2025 and SEK 700 million per year starting in 2026, in comparison with the appropriation for 2023. Moreover, additional funding will be allocated to the Military Intelligence and Security Service within the framework of the increases of appropriation 1:1 Unit activities and readiness.
Procurement and development of defence materiel
The appropriation for the development, procurement, replenishment and phasing out of defence materiel and facilities will increase by SEK 20 billion, from SEK 28 billion in 2023 to SEK 48 billion in 2024. This appropriation will also fund intended updates to technical capabilities and performance, which includes extending materiel service life. In addition, the appropriation may be used to fund initial procurements of readiness supplies and procurements aimed at increasing minimum stockpiles of readiness supplies. This appropriation funds any reorganisation and phasing out costs that may arise within the framework of ongoing restructuring of logistics and defence materiel supply, and research and development.
Readiness and availability
The deterioration of the security environment has necessitated an increased focus on readiness. This entails continuous adaptations to improve readiness and the introduction of more exercises.
The Government’s budget priorities also aim to improve resilience and increase operational capabilities. In the Budget Bill for 2024, the Government has proposed redistributing funds between appropriation items so as to implement initiatives concerning maintenance of existing defence materiel, with the aim of ensuring a general improvement in the availability of defence materiel and the ability to replenish and increase stockpiles of readiness supplies, including ammunition. This also contributes to the resilience of the Swedish Armed Forces.