Sweden reactivates air defence missile system 23 in Gotland

18 March 2021 (Last Updated March 18th, 2021 16:01)

The Swedish Armed Forces has reactivated the country’s air defence missile system 23 and will be stationed in Gotland.

Sweden reactivates air defence missile system 23 in Gotland
Launch unit 23 is the part of Missile system 23 that launches the surface-to-air missile. Credit: SAAB.

The Swedish Armed Forces has reactivated the country’s air defence missile system 23 and will be stationed in Gotland.

The ‘reintroduction’ of this missile system comes after it was put in the materiel reserve for a few years.

The medium-range air defence system was developed in the 1990s and completed in the early 2000s.

According to the Swedish Armed Forces, the unit in the materiel reserve trained at the Air Defence Regiment (LV6) in the Swedish city of Halmstad.

The part of Missile system 23, which launches the surface-to-air missile, is called ‘Launch unit 23’.

Launch unit 23 is a missile vehicle that can be towed by any type of pulling vehicle. The roof of the vehicle is mounted with a gun carriage with six launch-ready missiles, an extendable 8m-long mast with command radar and an infrared camera.

The unit can be connected to the central reconnaissance radar called as ‘Intelligence unit 23’. It can also, however, operate independently if needed.

Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) Army Materiel head Mikael Frisell said: “The system has now been tested at Saab in Karlskoga, and it is working.

“This update does not provide more capability; to a layman it can best be described as a service. They have been checked at delivery and handed over to the Swedish Armed Forces.”

Saab delivered the updated Launch unit 23 to FMV. The repaired launch units will be part of the ground-based air defence.

Air Defence Regiment head colonel Mikael Beck said: “They are a reinforcement of the air defence as we will now have even more units available. By using already existing resources more effectively, this is part of the armed forces’ growth.

“The update of Launch unit 23 can ie be compared to the use and update of Air Defence Missile System 15.”