A US Patriot missile defence system is pictured at the Hatzor Airforce Base in Israel on March 8, 2018. –InternationalIndiaAfricaWith a ceiling of $3.2 billion, the Patriots may become Sweden’s most expensive procurement ever, overshadowing even the Jas 39 Gripen fighter jets.The Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) has placed a new order for Patriot air defense system missiles from the US. Whereas the exact price tag and number of missiles ordered have been kept secret, in the long term, the entire deal, which started nearly five years ago, could become the most expensive in Sweden’s history, eclipsing the Jas 39 Gripen aircraft.The US government first approved Sweden’s request to purchase the Patriot air defense system in 2018, placing a ceiling of $3.2 billion, and the maximum sale of 300 missiles. So far, Sweden hasn’t ordered the entire amount.The new order has been placed as the Defense Materiel Administration handed over the fourth and last fire unit to the Armed Forces, thus completing the first part of the Patriot deal. According to the FMV, it cost up to SEK 10 billion (nearly $1 billion).Each fire unit has three mountings for different types of missiles, a control station, combined reconnaissance and fire control radar, a power plant, a repair unit and associated towing vehicles. In addition to this, there is command equipment for the two Swedish anti-aircraft battalions which are to be fully equipped in 2025.In Sweden, the Patriot air defense system is marketed as Air Defense System 103. It is equipped with PAC-2/GEM-T missiles, which are larger and have a more powerful charge and a longer range. The FMV was tight-lipped about the timeline of the new delivery, only saying it will occur within the next few years.Russia’s Special Operation in UkrainePutin: Patriot Deliveries to Ukraine Will Prolong Conflict, Won’t Alter Its Outcome22 December 2022, 15:59 GMTThe Patriot is a surface-to-air missile system, used as the primary defensive array of its kind by the US and its allies, ranging from the Netherlands to Japan. It is developed to engage with all air targets such as helicopters, airplanes, ballistic robots and cruise robots.Earlier this year, following decades of widening cooperation with the US, Sweden and its neighbor Finland abandoned their historic military non-alignment and hurried to become members of the US-led NATO bloc, citing Russia’s special operation in Ukraine and the ensuing “security situation” as a pretext.The Patriot systems have also landed in the spotlight amid the conflict in Ukraine, as the Biden administration recently pledged to include a Patriot battery to Ukraine in its fresh military aid package. The delivery of a battery of Patriot missile systems to Ukraine will prolong the Ukrainian security crisis, but cannot alter its outcome, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed in response.