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International attention turned to Swedish sales of Saab arms to Algeria

Saturday, 07 April 2012
International attention has now turned to Sweden were various reports in some foreign medial sources show that Swedish arms companies are selling armaments to troubled countries. Next stop Algeria.

According to reports in French and Algerian media sources, Swedish weapons manufacturer Saab’s Bofors Dynamics will supply navy robot system to two frigates of the Meko 200-class to Algeria,  ordered by the German group, Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

Swedish media sources report that Saab declined to comment on the matter.
The French business daily, La Tribune reported last week that the deal, worth 2.2 billion euros (approximately Skr19.4 billion), was virtually complete.

Algerian news reports hold that the country’s Defence Ministry has sent a letter to the German manufacturer Krupp Tysser concerning the Contract No. 674/889, signed March 26, 2012, confirming the purchase of two frigates Meko A200. This purchase is part of the modernization potential of Algerian naval forces.

The fact that a Swedish company will supply military equipment to Algeria, a country that can not be said to have been spotless in respect of human rights and freedoms, was expected to add more fuel to the Swedish arms industry where just like Saudi Arabia, Sweden keeps selling arms to vulnerable undemocratic countries.
More report from the French hold that the German frigates that Algeria has decided to commission  - the Algerian frigates will be equipped with eight RBS-15 Mk3. This anti-ship missile, developed and marketed by the Swedish Saab Bofors Dynamics and the German Diehl BGT Defence, displays a range of 200 kilometers. Embedding a warhead of 200 kilograms, it has an infrared seeker, which makes it independent of the carrier after the shooting, and a GPS, giving it a strike capability against coastal targets. For the record, the RBS-15 Mk3 was adopted by the Swedish Navy and the German fleet for its new Type 130 corvettes.

According to the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, Marie Karlsson, press officer of the defense and security company Saab AB, pointed out that she can not comment on the findings.

At the same time Marie Karlsson said that Saab "follow the rules and guidelines that apply in Sweden" for transactions with armaments.

In an article last Friday on the German business site Wirtschafts Woche a spokesperson for ThyssenKrupp gave out information relating to a transaction between the Group and Algeria that it "can neither be confirmed nor denied".

The problem here in Sweden is that Swedish arm manufacturers keep on selling arms to dictators which are then used on its people. The fact that Saab is not selling the arms directly to Algeria could be a chance for them the walk free but pressure groups in sweden would likely react to this in a bad way.
By Team

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