Sweden’s Wary Eye on the Bear

Sweden’s Wary Eye on the Bear: The Swedish Air Force is carefully watching Russian Air Force modernization, though the country’s massive revitalization does not yet pose a direct threat, said Swedish Air Force Chief Maj. Gen. Micael Bydén. At the Moscow Air Show several weeks ago, “President Putin announced that his plan is [to procure] 1,000 new helicopters and 600 new fighter aircraft,” said Bydén, speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Tuesday. “Normally it’s pretty sensitive to point fingers, and I’m not doing it, but my country as well as other countries will follow the development in Russia closely,” emphasized Bydén. Following the US and Western European model, “there are clearly signs of modernization and upgrades of all the conventional forces including the acquisition of new systems,” he said. “It’s difficult to assess the result” of Russia’s modernization push “but we follow it closely,” concluded Bydén.