FOI acts as a knowledge bank for the Swedish defence organisation by building up research-based knowledge and expertise that can then be made available to meet the full range of defence needs from preliminary concept studies through materiel acquisition to real-time support during operations.
It is FOI’s job to support the shaping, build-up and utilisation of Sweden’s defence resources through its research-based knowledge and experience. In concert with the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FOI’s task is to develop its knowledge and expertise for the benefit of Sweden’s operational defence forces, both in the short and in the longer term, as well as helping to apply this knowledge in the full range of defence processes from perspective studies to evaluation.
The basis of FOI’s knowledge
The overall task assigned to FOI by the Swedish Armed Forces (Research and Technology Development) forms the basis of FOI’s knowledge-building activities. The results of this accumulation of knowledge and experience are published in the form of research reports, scientific articles and conference contributions. For FOI’s part, this overall assignment provides the basis for long long-term work in the following areas:
- Modelling and Simulation
- Command and Control with Man-System Interaction (MSI)
- Sensors and Low Observables
- Underwater Technology
- Weapons and Protection
- Electronic Warfare
- Aeronautics with electronics and construction methods
Previously, research in the CBRN* area was also included in the overall task assigned to FOI by the Swedish Armed Forces but since July 2010 this work has been funded via appropriations from the Ministry of Defence.
In recent years FOI, within the framework of its overall task, has:
- identified risk areas for small arms ammunition,
- developed a support system for the remote detection of underwater targets,
- developed training methods for mine detection dogs,
- carried out technical safety checks on smokeless propellants,
- developed concepts for the destruction of sea mines,
- developed methods for the testing of plans using simulation,
- participated in an international field trial under the auspices of the NATO group ‘Multi Sensor Integration for urban operations’.
Knowledge application tasks in addition to the overall assignment
FOI’s knowledge and capabilities are utilised in a range of separate defence applications. The Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) each year assign around 100 knowledge application tasks to FOI. In this way FOI, making use of its collective competence in a shorter perspective, is able to assist with a range of defence-related problems and questions. Among other things, FOI contributes to, or supports, the Swedish Armed Forces’ long-term planning process (perspective and other studies etc), the acquisition and maintenance of defence equipment, the phasing out and disposal of surplus materiel and installations, the activities and preparedness of armed forces units and the conduct of peace operations.
FOI has received separate assignments to provide support for the operational activities of the Swedish Armed Forces in a variety of areas including the following:
- training for service personnel associated with forensic intelligence and the weapon-related threat picture,
- expert technical support for the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service MUST,
- operational support for the air operations in Libya regarding electronic warfare,
- encryption for military GPS in connection with the air operations in Libya
- collating and making available international experience of starting and landing helicopters in difficult environments,
- expert assistance for the Swedish Armed Forces’ mobile laboratories for the analysis of biological, chemical and radioactive substances,
- increasing the Swedish Armed Forces’ capability to operate in temperate waters by assisting in studies of sensor performance and especially relevant emitted signatures,
- expert assistance in gender analysis.
*CBRN stands for Chemical (C), Biological (B), Radiological (R) and Nuclear (N) substances