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Sweden seeks to buy $1 bln U.S. Patriot air defense missile system

STOCKHOLM, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Sweden will start negotiations with a view to buying U.S. company Raytheon's Patriot air defense missile system, the Swedish Government said on Tuesday.

* Government said aim of the negotiations is for delivery to have commenced in 2020, and for the system to be operational by 2025 at the latest

* Government said the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has been authorized to send a Letter of Request to the United States, and to enter into negotiations for procurement of the Patriot system

* The contract value is estimated to exceed 10 billion Swedish crowns ($1.2 billion), FMV said in a statement.

* Government said a formal tender through a letter of offer and acceptance is expected in spring 2018

* Government said "based on this tender and the decision of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) on the proposal to acquire a new medium-range air defense system in the 2018 budget bill, the government will make a final decision on the acquisition during 2018"

* Link to press releases: 1/8http://bit.ly/2Arzh78 3/8 1/8http://bit.ly/2lZzg6W 3/8 ($1 = 8.4014 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom Editing by Greg Mahlich)