In 2001, two of Sweden’s pioneering scientific organisations, the Aeronautical Research Institute, FFA, and the Defence Research Establishment, FOA, were successfully merged to create FOI, the country’s premier innovative force in defence and security research. With its 870 employees, of whom 31% are women and more than 600 are scientists, and where management has an equal gender distribution, FOI excels not only in multidisciplinarity and advanced technologies, but reflects the dynamism of the knowledge society and corporate responsibility that are hallmarks of Swedish inventiveness.

FOI is organised so that the comprehensive needs of whole country defence are served by a focused suite of expertise. Led by its Board and a Director General, FOI has an Administrative and Technical Support Division, as well as four Research Divisions, each with its specific perspective on defence and security research: Defence Analysis; Defence & Security, Systems and Technology; CBRN Defence and Security; and C4ISR.

Mission / Objectives

FOI’s core activities span a full spectrum of issues related to the defence and security sectors, which it advances through research, methodology & technology development, analysis and studies. As an assignment-based authority under the Ministry of Defence, FOI has deep experience in providing sustainable solutions, not only to support and collaborate with the Armed Forces and the Swedish Defence Material Administration, its main customers, but to carry out assignments from civil authorities and industry. Success in this complex mission requires diversity and depth, which FOI addresses by selecting from its portfolio of key competencies and integrative approaches. FOI achieves this by relying on its most valuable asset, its experts and scientists. Whether through such diverse fields of application as security policy studies and analyses of defence and security issues, underwater systems, explosives, systems for crisis leadership and management, protection against and management of hazardous substances, IT security and the opportunities provided by new sensors, FOI is a dedicated and reliable partner in contributing to an innovative, safe and secure society.


FOI’s headquarters, where it also maintains its greatest concentration of aeronautics-related research, are in Kista, Stockholm. It also has major facilities in Grindsjön, just south of Stockholm, and in Linköping and Umeå.

Programmes/ Activities

Aeronautics-related research can be found in most of FOI’s Research Divisions, but with focus in two Departments; The Aeronautics and Autonomous Systems and the Systems Technology Department. Advanced training of Gripen pilots is another FOI core area with the operation of the Swedish Air Force Combat Simulation Centre (FLSC). It is a world-leading simulation facility for manned air combat, many-to-many, combining both manned simulators and computer generated forces (CGF). The Aeronautics and Autonomous Systems department upholds basic disciplines such as aerodynamics, structures and signatures. Research is based on numerical simulations with decades of experience in advanced methodology. The System Technology department maintains and develop the simulation models used in FLSC, but also provides research on new methods and models for system-of-system effectiveness.

The aeronautical research at FOI was restructured in 2015 into a system and air combat assessment focus. These new research areas have been added to the previous platform, threat analysis and survivability with countermeasures domains. Method development remains a strong and important part of the aeronautical research at FOI together with academia and industrial partners within Sweden.

FOI maintains and builds aeronautical competence within the following groups:


Conceptual design and performance assessment of manned and unmanned vehicles including weapon and missiles provides aero data for simulation models. A range of numerical in-house tools, from basic panel methods to state-of-the-art CFD software including meshing are maintained to the highest standard. Incorporating unique capability for flow control, aero-elasticity, store separation, propulsion integration and countermeasure aerodynamics.

Structures and materials

Large-scale structural design and analysis of aircraft to predict static strength, fatigue life and damage tolerance of real aircraft structures made from both metallic and composite materials. A variety of commercial and in-house numerical tools. Expertize in high performance computing (HPC) to scale efficiently up to many thousand cores and sustained Tera-FLOP speed. Crack growth and failure analysis with experience of accident investigations of aircraft and industrial applications.


Multidisciplinary RCS and IR signature predictions for detection and (NCTI) identification using in-house and commercial software for full scale analysis including specular and diffuse reflections, cavities and RAM/RAS material characterization and with background modelling.

Flight dynamics

Stability, control and non-linear concepts from fighter jets, including pilot input, down to fine caliber munition. With unconventional actuation using MEMS, plasma, micro-jets or morphing. Mission planning and combat performance metrics.

Environmental impact

Emission estimation of both commercial and military air transport including ATM using statistical or databased methods. Provide knowledge of regulations both on national and international levels.

Combat analysis and assessment

Evaluation of weapon systems at combat and tactical level for land, naval and air/space domain using computer based simulation framework, such as surface to air missiles for national air defence, air to air missiles, air or surface to surface missiles for land and naval targets, counter rockets and mortar systems, and missile defence systems. Aggregation of multiple levels system-of-systems for scenario evaluation and materiel acquisition purposes.

Guided weapons

Uphold expertise in guidance, navigation and control of autonomous and unmanned systems. Means of delivery for weapons, damage tolerance and vulnerability of warheads and propulsion techniques with models of varying fidelity.

Simulation tool development

Modelling, software architecture and development of real time simulation systems for FLSC as well as planning and mission tools for pilots. Tactical behaviour modelling of CGF for training and evaluation.

Space for Defence & Security

Provides and builds knowledge within orbital mechanics, satellite technology with insight into the military possibilities and practical use for space technology, global growth and trends in the space sector including global security, political and policy developments. Responsibilities of arms control issues in space.

Sensors and EW systems

Evaluate, demonstrate and develop new or increased sensor capability in the fields of radar, IR and optics with advanced image and signal processing including data fusion and counter measure.

The Aeronautics and Autonomous Systems department currently participate in the following international programs:

  • EU-FP7: AFLoNext- Active Flow- Loads & Noise control on next generation wing
  • Garteur: AG54, RaLESin – RANS-LES Interfacing for Hybrid RANS-LES and Embedded LES Approaches
  • Garteur: AG55, Countermeasure Aerodynamics
  • EDA: LECoLoS – Leading Edge fluidic flow Control of Low Signature UCAV
  • ESA: DYNAST – Dynamic Stability of Capsules and Blunt Bodies at Angle of Attach
  • EUREKA/Vinnova: COLOC – Conccurrency and LOCALITY
  • NATO/PfP: AVT-251 – Multi-Disciplinary design and performance assessment of effective, agile NATO Air Vehicles
  • NATO/PfP: AVT-281 – Cross-domain platform EO signature prediction
  • NATO/PfP: SET-200 (follow on) – Electromagnetic Scattering Prediction of Small Complex Aerial Platforms for NCTI Purposes