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 Sweden to locate Cold War missiles on its Gotland island, - media

Faced with aggressive behavior on part of Russia, Sweden is redeploying its mothballed Cold War missile launchers out of storage in museums to shore up the defenses on its Baltic Sea front line.

Censor.NET reports citing The Times.

The traditionally neutral nation, not a member of NATO, is sending the land-based Kustrobotbatteri 90 to its former stronghold on the island of Gotland, the newspaper reports.

The Scania launcher lorries, built in 1987, were developed for the Saab Robotsystem 15 (RBS-15) anti-ship missile system but only one of four planned batteries was delivered before Sweden's coastal artillery was taken out of service in 2000.

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"We analysed whether we would be able to put something back together again which was capable of launching with," Rear Admiral Thomas Engevall told Sweden's Dagens Nyheter newspaper, quoted by The Local SE.

"A number of the trucks still remained. We have have taken components from existing missile boats and warships which had the same missile system," Engevall added.

Mike Winnerstig, security policy analyst at the Swedish Defence Research Agency, said that the decision showed that Sweden was stepping up its defense capabilities.

"This decision is national, but it is also a contribution by Sweden to the international defense capability in the Baltic Sea after Russia's annexation of Crimea and the invasion of Ukraine," he said. "If you group together these kinds of systems on Gotland, you can control quite a lot of territory in the mid-Baltic."

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"I do not think Sweden is a primary goal for Russia," he added. "But we would still be involved in any conflict in the Baltic Sea area related to EU countries."

Sweden defense minister Peter Hultqvist on Friday visited the test site on Sweden's east coast where the reconstituted system is being put through its paces.

"It is extremely good that we have land-based coastal missile systems back in our National Defence," he said. "It means that we can shoot anti-ship missiles from land over great distance. They provides increased flexibility and capability in marine warfare. It increases military capability and that's something we need."
 
 
 
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