This report examines the current and future state of the Swedish Air Force (SwAF) as it embarks on a major modernization program and the implications that this has or may have for Swedish defense and Western security interests. The SwAF is currently one of the largest air forces in Western Europe and should remain a considerable and capable force into the 21st century, despite continuing defense budgetary constraints. It will not be able to compensate fully for the decline in Sweden's other military services, however, creating the risk that Sweden's defenses could become a hollow shell. Sweden could find itself increasingly dependent upon its assumptions of an indirect U.S. security guarantee, which in the absence of a formal defense agreement is an unreliable basis for national security.
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