A Strong Defence Budget for Demanding Times

The Norwegian Government´s proposal for the 2024 defence budget increases national defence capability and strengthens military readiness at a time of war in Europe. It also follows up Norway’s commitments to NATO and demonstrates solidarity with Ukraine.

Illustration photo
Illustration photo Credit: Felix Lerfald Golden / The Amred Forces of Norway

– We are the first Norwegian Government to commit to NATOs 2% guideline. Our budget proposal for 2024 puts us ahead of the plan to reach two percent of our GDP in 2026, says Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram.

The Government proposes a defence budget of 90,8 billion NOK, which is a nominal increase of 15 billion compared to the approved budget for 2023. Adjusted for inflation, compensations, technical changes and increased income, the budget increases by 10,9 billion NOK.

– This defence budget will contribute to safeguard Norway at a time of international turmoil. We must increase our defence capabilities here and now, and lay the ground for further expansion in the future. In 2024 the main priorities are increasing the number of personnel, increased stockpiling, strengthening of the Home Guard, increased ability to receive Allied reinforcements and improved situational awareness in the North.

The Government proposes 200 more personnel in the Armed Forces, 100 more students at military schools, 38 extra cadets, increased capacity at the Norwegian Defence University College, and improved living quarters and facilities.

– The Government continues its focus on the people in our Armed Forces. We will increase the number of personnel and expand our educational capacity. We will introduce a number of temporary measures next year and are looking into further expansion of our military educational system, says the Defence Minister.

About 27 billion NOK is allocated for investments such as F-35 aircraft, new submarines, surveillance-aircraft, maritime helicopters, artillery ammunition, infrastructure and important ICT-improvements.

– We plan to spend more money on operational costs, but we will also continue a high level of investment to prepare our defence for the future. The fact that we are continuously introducing new capabilities is of utmost importance for Norway’s ability to maintain national control and influence in our immediate areas, says the Defence Minister.

In connection with the coming long-term plan, the Government has received clear recommendations from the Norwegian Defence Commission, the Norwegian Total Defence Commission and from our Chief of Defence. The budget proposal for 2024 includes a number of measures that will be important with regards to a new long-term plan, and it provides a better starting point for the plan.

– The coming long-term plan will be the most important in decades. We know that recruitment, education and living accommodation is a challenge with regards to expanding the Armed Forces. That is why this budget introduces measures for faster growth in the future.

– Our support for Ukraine continues. In 2024 the Norwegian military support amounts to 7,5 billion NOK, says Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram.

Norway's Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram (Centre Party)
Norway's Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram (Centre Party) Credit: Lars Gjemble / MoD