24 October 2023

FOI scientists advise NATO

NATO’s own research body is called the Science and Technology Organization (STO). The STO recently released a report on the capability to deal with adversaries who can prevent someone from acting in a geographical area at a distance. Two FOI researchers are among the report’s authors.

A Patriot system.

One definition of A2/AD is the capability to prevent an adversary from acting in a geographical area from a distance. Photo: Gregory Fréni/Mediacentrum Defensie (MCD).

The report is entitled Analysis of Anti-Access Area Denial (A2/AD) Assessing the Consequences – Addressing the Challenge. One definition of A2/AD is the capability to prevent an adversary from acting in a geographical area from a distance. One example is the use of persistent surveillance to find and acquire adversary units early and at long distances, after which long-range missiles can destroy these units long before they reach their objective.

“The report goes over the various scenarios and technology game cards that the study used in a war game conducted with invited participants. Parts of the report are classified, but the idea is that the study’s analysis resulted in recommendations that will assist military decision-makers in developing capabilities to better deal with A2/AD threats. By having a research group from six different nations, we achieved a breadth and depth that would have been difficult to get if each country had produced its own report,” says the study’s chair, Eva Dalberg, a senior scientist at FOI and one of the report’s several authors, along with Andreas Hörnedal, deputy research director at FOI.

The authors of the report are from Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

Sweden participates in many STO activities

Sweden is not yet a NATO member. But Sweden is already participating in more than 120 STO activities. Sweden is one of only five countries that have the status of Enhanced Opportunity Partner in NATO. The others are Australia, Georgia, Jordan and Ukraine. Approximately 80 percent of the Swedish participants come from Swedish authorities, the majority of whom are FOI employees.

FOI’s Director-General, Jens Mattsson, has been appointed National Defence Research Director and Sweden’s representative on the STO’s Science and Technology Board (STB). The STB is the STO’s highest level, where its decisions are made. The STB determines the work programme and provides strategic guidance and direction to the STO’s research and technology development. The STB holds two meetings annually, the most recent was held in Helsinki.