Earlier this month, Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist signed a controversial treaty on military cooperation with the United States with another one with the UK to follow. Despite having signed two high-profile treaties with NATO heavyweights and allowing neutral Sweden to serve as a playground for NATO war games, Hultqvist stressed, that neither of the steps should be interpreted as a move towards the alliance.
Earlier this year, plans detailing cooperation with the UK were signed for their respective navies and air forces, and now the two governments also want to include armies.
"Underwater Warfare is one of the research areas, in which we have ongoing cooperation with Britain. Research cooperation is about electric and magnetic signatures and sensors, as well as underwater explosions and their effects on vessels," Marinette Nyh Radebo of the Defense Ministry told Swedish public television network SVT.
After notorious submarine hunts in the early 1980s following an incident with a stranded Soviet sub, Sweden launched its comprehensive military cooperation with the UK on submarine protection. Remarkably, the collaboration was only made public in 1998.
During the Cold War, Swedish naval chief would have established an exile headquarters in the UK in the event of war. The UK was also the planned destination for the fleeing Swedish king and government. At present, Carl XVI Gustaf is an honorary admiral in the British Navy. There are only two such, the other one being the Sultan of Brunei.