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Sweden is a major economic power, in both high-tech equipment and in natural resources.
Sweden has some of the largest fisheries in the world, and brings in over 180 million metric tons more of fish than any other nation in the world (though it is arguable that Japan technically brings in more, counting whales and shellfish.). While not a major industry, farming in large greenhouses (concentrated in Vastergotland) is enough to bring in over 80% of the nation's food needs (including meat and poultry). A further 10% are grown in urban greenhouses. The rest is imported from Louisiana as well as China and Sweden's Lunar colonies.
Interplanetary ShippingSwedish companies dominate the interplanetary shipping trade. approximately 40% of all cargo transported between the moon and earth are carried on Swedish vessels, and almost 60% of the total interplanetary trade is carried out by the Swedes. Sweden has dominated the interplanetary trade ever since they began production of the Gotland-class interplanetary transport, which has since become almost ubiquitous in the interplanetary shipping market. in addition, Oslo interplanetary spaceport is the worlds largest.
Sweden has one of the fastest growing and most powerful computer industries in the world, which produces everything from GPS satellites to car navigation systems to targeting systems for orbital weaponry. In fact, a Swedish defense contractor recently unveiled the first truly sentient artificial intelligence, K.I.M., placing them about ten to fifteen years ahead of their closest competitors.
Sweden has long had a connection to the sea, and their naval industry reflects it. Fully 37% of all vessels, commercial, private, or military, have been laid down in Sweden (a further 53% of those laid down in Goteburg).
Sweden's history of aerospace development is a long and renowned one, making good use of foreign aircraft and later developing its own advanced aircraft. Currently, Sweden is a major of producer of inexpensive military combat aircraft, filling a niche not occupied by manufacturers of more expensive aircraft. Sweden's major expertise in this area is in delivering cheap but high-performance aircraft capable of performing as well as their pilots. Swedish companies, such as Saab and Bofors, currently occupy a full 50% of total Solar System production for STOL ground-support aircraft, with latest designs capable of operating out of hostile environments and low logistics support very easily. Swedish designs are often preferred due to their low maintenance requirements (the latest variant of the Saab 3000, the Model J, boasts an impressive requirement of only two maintenance hours per flight hour and an operational crew of only eight) and friendliness to expedient logistics. Swedish space companies are also among the best in the world, with the Sørensen Interplanetary Gotland-class transport carrying a full 23% of interplanetary cargo, and the KMI Fenix-XII disposable rocket performing 9% of all commercial Earth-to-orbit launches.
Swedish cybernetics are extremely advanced. In fact, most cybernetic attachments produced and fitted in Sweden actually perform better than the original human body. This has led to a disturbing trend among certain fringe elements of Swedish society, in which limbs are deliberately removed and replaced with cybernetic limbs. However, this (along with cloning) is illegal in all nations, and Sweden is no exception.
Sweden specializes in optical and cognitive implants. It is quite common for young Swedes to have some sort of augmentation, which typically includes mental access to the Net, infrared and telescopic vision, logic processors, advanced calculation software, and many other augmentations.
Some common augmentations include:
"The Visionary": Gives the user perfect vision with low-light, anti-dazzle, and motion-tracking capabilities.
"The Listener": Improves the recipient's hearing, with enhanced hearing range, sound editor, subsonic, and level dampener.
"Vampire (illegal)": A set of retractable fangs in the user's mouth and a nanofactory that creates a sleep-toxin from the body's supply of nutrients, which can be injected when the "vamp" bites someone.
"Feline" : Gives the user low-light vision and anti-dazzle (like the Visionary), enhanced hearing (like the cyber audio), and improved balance.
"Hardskin": Arguments the user's skin, giving him or her the equivalent of a carbon-weave armor (able to stop most low-velocity weapons, such as bullets and knives, but does nothing against lasers and rail guns).
"Shadow": Using a thermograph to spot a Shadow-augumented person is a difficult task. Although it breaks up their thermal outline, it does not trap heat. So, an indistinct blob is visible - if compared to another form of visual input (low-light for example) the difference will be readily apparent. Shadows also have low-light vision.
"Untouchable (illegal)": Creates a charged field around the body that basically works like a taser.
Sweden is a traditionally conservative nation, with 67% of the population identifying in a recent poll as "mainly conservative" (including 54% of 15-30 year-olds). However, they tend to be classified by sociologists as "classical liberals", with much of the nation's policies mirroring the views of New Albionic philosopher Thomas Jefferson. In a more modern context, they are typically seen as socially liberal, fiscally conservative, economically conservative, and in defensive and foreign relations they are conservative. Though extremely permissive by most standards, Sweden boasts some of the lowest crime-rates in existence, frequently going for months at a time without a single murder. Swedes are some of the most insular people in the Solar System, with immigration tightly controlled (and famously halted during the St. Petersburg Crisis for a full eight years) and borders patrolled fiercely. A full 99.2% of the population (excluding the Finnish states) identify themselves as ethnic Scandinavians (the Finnish states are 97% Finnish, and practice mostly independent self-government from the rest of Sweden). Notable foreign presences in Sweden are Germans (0.5% of the population, excluding the Finnish states), Western Slavs (0.25%), and Angles (0.04%). Most of the other 0.01% of the population is distributed amongst other Europeans. Sweden famously practices a total ban on Muscovites entering or staying in the country, an issue of constant international tension. Foreign trade is also tightly controlled by the Ministry of Commerce, to famous annoyance, mostly by Muscovy. Despite their staunch support of a free market, the Swedish Ministry of Commerce also tightly regulates the banking industry, causing several international banking conglomerates to boycott the country after being prosecuted for fraud and negligence.
Overview of Swedish History
The Scandinavian peninsula first began to emerge from poverty during the Holy War of the mid-1000's. since Scandinavia contained some of the world's largest iron deposits, the greatly increased demand for high-quality iron during this conflict catapulted Scandinavia to the world stage. unfortunately, it remained divided into several kingdoms, much like Italy until the rise of Venice and Genoa. Sweden was formed in 1127 out of several petty kingdoms in the north-central area of Sweden, united by the half-Lapp king of Sundsvall, Harald Peitersson. Peitersson died heirless just two years later, leaving the kingdom bankrupt and surrounded by enemies. After a brief power struggle, the earl of Hudiksvall gained the throne, and, over a period of seven years, had subdued and conquered the rest of the Lapps.
The Swedish military is one of the most powerful in the world, and certainly the most advanced. it is currently divided into four branches, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Interplanetary Forces. Sweden is one of only a few countries that operates a fleet of interplanetary battleships, most of which are deployed on anti-piracy missions in the asteroid belt.
Joint Military Operations
Many special-ops units, while nominally under the command of its respective branch, typically functions under the command of JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command). Here are a few:
Army Rangers: Used as shock troops. Typically used in support of main operations, rather than true spec-ops missions.
Naval Seaborne Battlefield Operations Engineers: While their name suggests that they are some kind of naval combat engineer, this is a tribute to their early days, when they were used as combat divers and engineers, primarily to disarm mines, and to place the same on enemy ships. They became so adept at waterborne infiltration and combat techniques that in modern times they are used exclusively as raiders, often destroying Chinese naval bases in "industrial accidents" (overloading an aircraft carrier's reactor). They are commonly referred to as SeaBees.
Marine Deep Force Reconissance: Used as long-range, low-profile recon units, often spending months behind enemy lines gathering intelligence. They often infiltrate over water, or through orbital drop-pods. Operating in either six or 36-man teams, they will gather intel, assassinate targets, "bail out" spies and POWs, and disrupt communications, transportation, industry, power, and defenses (basically they function as militarized spies).
Swedish ArmyThe Swedish Army is divided into 50 brigades of approximately 10,000 men each. Ten of these brigades are placed at strategic points along Sweden's border, in order to slow an enemy invasion until re-inforcements can be brought up. another ten brigades are stationed in important cities, and act as both a rapid response unit in the event of an invasion, and as a humanitarian force in the event of an natural disaster striking a part of Sweden. the remaining 30 brigades are divided between several peacekeeping missions around the globe. each brigade is fully supported by armor and helicopters. perhaps the most significant of Sweden's advantages is their use of the Walrus super-heavy transport. The Walrus is a hybrid-airship vehicle, with a carrying capacity of approximately 1000 tons. since the Walrus is powered by a electrostatic Ion engine, it can travel around the world in two days, on almost no fuel. these transports carry around 2000 troops, along with their armor support and helicopters. The Swedish Army utilizes only one tank design, the Marauder multi-role medium tank. in addition, the artillery corp has been entirely phased out, and their role is now filled by helicopters and orbital weapons (such as "Rods From God, orbital lasers, and missiles). the Swedish army uses two helicopters, the Hellcat attack helicopter and the Mastadon transport helicopter.
Sweden's navy is one of the largest in the world (after Japan, Louisiana, and before China and New Westphalia). It has over 500,000 personnel, including 120,000 marines, and an 80,000 man aviation contingent. The fleets are Homecom (Baltic and N Atlantic), Southcom (Antarctica, South Pacific, and South Indian), Centcom (Mediterranean and Middle East), and Eastcom (Pacific and Indian).
Each fleet is further divided into two carrier groups and an amphibious landing group. Each carrier group has two Sundsvall-class carriers, five Riga-class cruisers (mainly used for AA coverage and long-range bombardment), four Helsinki-class destroyers (the primary ASW vessels) and four Trondheim-class frigates (for carrier escorts and picket duty).
The amphibious landing group consists of seven Malmo-class LPDs, carrying up to 900 Marines and their vehicles each. Two Achangelsk-class assault ships carry 500 marines, as well as 16 Leopold fighter-bombers and 12 Gnask artillery drones. A single destroyer and three cruisers (all modified for AA duties) round out the group.
The remaining marines (around 80,000) are used as light infantry, reconaissance, and as a quick-reaction force. The 6,000 troops that are part of the Marine Counter terrorist Brigade are stationed around the world and are constantly ready to react to any major terrorist or hostage threat. Using heavily-modified scamjet cargo planes, the MCB can put a company of marines (144 men) anywhere in the world in six hours, provided that there is an airstrip longer than 714 meters within a 100 mile radius of the target. The MCB functions mainly as a delta Force on a global scale. The rest of the marines are formed into 4000 man brigades, and are positioned in 11 different allied nations around the globe, ready to invade a hostile nation and protect Sweden's economic interests around the world. These brigades are used to spearhead invasions, with the Army following up to occupy the conquered lands.
Swedish Interplanetary Forces
The Swedish Interplanetary forces are one of the largest in the solar system. Since a large portion of Sweden's income comes from interplanetary trade, the Interplanetary Forces are the most prestigious forces of the Swedish military. The SIF operates ten interplanetary warships, or which 8 are deployed on anti-piracy cruises in the asteroid belt, while the other two function as a home fleet. the SIF also operate a missile defense shield over the entire Arctic region. the SIF supreme command is stationed in the HomeCom station, which currently sits in geo-syncronous orbit over the north pole. The SIF's main goal is to limit space piracy (which has become a major problem).
Sweden typically is fairly active in international politics. It often functions as an "international policeman" in the extreme northern and southern latitudes, having intervened militarily in Azania's affairs over nine times in the past century (including two full occupations, one lasting 15 years), while smaller occupations (to protect Swedish citizens and economic interests, including oil, factories, etc.) of various areas and cities by Marines have been used in over 11 different nations. Many have criticized Sweden's self-appointed role of watchman while it itself has fiercely resisted any international influence over its domestic affairs, but Swedish diplomats have, time and again, insisted that the situations are not directly comparable, citing Sweden's near-utopian crime-rates and advanced technological development. The most active and powerful opponent of Sweden's policing duties is Muscovy, who maintains a strong polar presence and regularly stresses the need for counterbalancing against Swedish force, both on land and in the polar seas where Swedish military forces most often operate. Diplomatic relations between the two nations are stressed at best, with little to no contact between the two and passive-aggressive policies relentlessly pursued by both sides. Although no conflict has broken out between the two and calls for war are tempered by the looming presences of China, Poland, and Canada, minor skirmishes occasionally break out. Sweden claims to have lost a full seven naval vessels to Muscovite attacks over the past twenty years, although Muscovy officially denies any claims of aggression against Swedish vessels.