Government Proposes 3.4% Defence Budget Increase in 2015

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Defence

The Norwegian Government proposes to increase the defence budget by 3.4% in 2015, amounting to a total of NOK 1.460 billion. The budget ensures a considerable investment in relevant and modern capabilities that will ensure ensure enhanced operational abilities for the Norwegian Armed Forces. The Government will also strengthen the ability of the Armed Forces to contribute to societal security, through measures such as a higher level of readiness for the Air Force’s helicopters at Rygge and Bardufoss.

Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide presented the 2015 budget proposal on the 8th of October 2014 (Photo: Asgeir Spange Brekke)

- This is a good, sober and realistic budget characterized by clear priorities, says Norwegian Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The Norwegian Government proposes to increase the defence budget by 3.4% in 2015, amounting to a total of NOK 1.460 billion. The budget ensures a considerable investment in relevant and modern capabilities that will ensure enhanced operational abilities for the Norwegian Armed Forces. The Government will also strengthen the ability of the Armed Forces to contribute to societal security, through measures such as a higher level of readiness for the Air Force’s helicopters at Rygge and Bardufoss.

Additional funding for new combat aircraft and associated base infrastructure

The Government proposes NOK 1.038 billion in supplementary funding in 2015 to support the continued procurement of the F-35, along with associated base infrastructure. This funding will be provided above and beyond the regular budget allocations in accordance with the schedule outlined in the current Norwegian Armed Forces Long Term Plan. The Norwegian Parliament has already authorized a total of 16 F-35 fighter aircraft that will be delivered between 2015 and 2018. The Government now requests additional authorizations valued at a total of NOK 6.9 billion for another six aircraft for delivery in 2019, along with related investments. Of this, NOK 4 billion covers the acquisition of six aircraft, with all Norwegian-specific costs included, while the remaining NOK 2.9 billion covers additional investments in deployable spare parts, ALIS and the Norwegian share of the Norwegian-Italian Reprogramming Lab for the F-35.

Ensures the continued development of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM)

Of the weapons currently in development for the F-35, the JSM is the one that is best able to meet the requirement for a long-range anti-surface capability against heavily defended sea and land targets. Together with a number of support systems and weapons, this will ensure that Norway, through the F-35, for the first time will have a real ability to both find and defeat well-defended targets at very long distances. In 2015, the Government therefore proposes NOK 308 million in supplementary funding within the defence budget to ensure the continued development and integration of the JSM on the F-35.

Enhanced operational capabilities for the Army and Home Guard

The Government proposes several measures in its 2015 budget to enhance the operational capabilities of the Norwegian Army and Home Guard. For the Army this includes improving the quality and availability of equipment and supplies, as well as additional training for the armoured battalion of the Brigade North. In the Home Guard, this will include providing additional training courses for personne,l as well as additional training for officers.

Increased focus on the Armed Forces’ ability to support societal security

The Government proposes an additional NOK 33 million to reduce the response time for Bell 412 helicopters at Rygge and Bardufoss air stations that are being kept on stand-by to provide support for civilian Law Enforcement. This additional funding means that these helicopters will now be able to respond in no more than one hour, instead of two, which is the current requirement. Funding for the Norwegian National Security Agency is also being increased to improve the Agency's ability to deal with serious cyber-attacks and in order to strengthen its work on protecting high value infrastructure. Finally, the Government’s budget proposal will increase the Home Guard's ability to support the work of civilian authorities within societal security.

Following up on the compensation arrangements for injured veterans

In accordance with the rights of veterans, the Government will allocate an additional NOK 64 million to provide compensation to personnel that are suffering from mental illnesses due to their service abroad.