14 empty airframes: public–private relations in the Swedish arms industry


  • Linda Åkerström Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society




Arms trade, Sweden, Saab


In February 2013, the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration ordered 14 empty airframes in an effort to keep production lines open at the national arms producer Saab. This unusual example of state support is a reflection of the tight-knit relationship between state actors and the arms industry in Sweden. This article provides a case study of the political and economic factors that contributed to the order. It analyses the Swedish history of armed neutrality and military non-alignment as a driver of contemporary procurement and arms trade policies, and the formation of a “partially captive” Swedish arms market—where orders to Saab made up 60 percent of the Swedish arms procurement budget in 2018.


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How to Cite

Åkerström, L. (2020). 14 empty airframes: public–private relations in the Swedish arms industry. The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.15355/epsj.15.1.39




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