Stockholm, Feb 7: The Swedish Armed Forces have ordered the deployment of the Patriot air defence system in Gothenburg, the country's second largest city.
It is the first time since it was delivered in 2021 that the system is deployed for a live operation in Sweden, Xinhua news agency quoted the Aftonbladet newspaper as saying in a report on Monday.

Therese Fagerstedt, head of press at the Swedish Armed Forces, told the newspaper that the operation in Gothenburg was not a training exercise.

"The west coast with the port of Gothenburg is strategically important due to the transports entering there and it is, therefore, crucial that we can use this system to protect the country from an attack," Fagerstedt told Aftonbladet.

According to the Swedish Armed Forces, the risk of an armed attack on the country is low, although the possibility cannot be ruled out, the newspaper reported.

Defence Minister Pal Jonson, told the newspaper that the operation "is not prompted by any immediate threat, but the security policy situation for Sweden has deteriorated over time so it is important that the Swedish Armed Forces can carry out operations like this".

Patriot is a surface-to-air missile defence system currently used by 17 countries and regions, according to US defence contractor Raytheon, which manufactures it.

In 2018, the US administration approved Sweden's request to procure the system up to a value of $3.2 billion.

Sweden has four Patriot systems, but the number of missiles is classified.

(IANS | Posted on 07 February 2023, 1695768594 3O239O59O31)