Historisk arkiv

The Norwegian Defence Budget 2007 - Northern Area and UN Operations Given Priority

Historisk arkiv

Publisert under: Regjeringen Stoltenberg II

Utgiver: Forsvarsdepartementet

The Government has proposed a defence budget for 2007 amounting to NOK 31 billion. This represents a continued high budget level for the defence sector. Priority is given to the High North and international operations.

Press release

No.: 46/2006
Date: 06.10.06

The Norwegian Defence Budget 2007 - Northern Area and UN Operations Given Priority

The Government has proposed a defence budget for 2007 amounting to NOK 31 billion. This represents a continued high budget level for the defence sector. Priority is given to the High North and international operations.

- Allocations for the three services, the intelligence community and the Coast Guard are increased by a combined total of NOK 500 million. This will enable us to further strengthen our Northern Area strategy as well as our capacity for UN- and NATO-led international operations. This budget demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the Soria Moria declaration’s ambitions for the defence sector, as well as its commitment to continue the restructuring process in the Armed Forces, says Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.

Main aims and priorities
A new, more complex security environment demands a more flexible defence structure able to handle a wide range of tasks. The Government will hence actively continue the process of restructuring the Armed Forces and preparing them for handling the new security challenges. The Government will follow up on the ambitions of the Soria Moria Declaration for the defence sector and the current long-term plan for Norwegian Defence. Priority will be given to units covering a broad range of tasks, with capacity for rapid reaction and high deployability. To achieve this, and to strengthen the Armed Forces’ operative capacity, a goal-oriented use of investment funds is necessary. More personnel shall be made available for operational activities. General conscription will be maintained as a central part of the defence concept, adjusted to the new times and based on the Armed Forces’ requirements.

The Government has stated in its Soria Moria declaration that the Northern Area is Norway’s most important strategic target area. The Armed Forces’ capacity for solving tasks will be strengthened, in particular in terms of presence and the exercise of sovereignty in the North. The Government also prepares for active international engagement and increased participation in UN-led operations.

Main figures
Within the operations and maintenance budget of NOK 21.7 billion, the Government wants to strengthen operational activity in all services, the Coast Guard and the security community with over NOK 500 million. This will result in increased defence activity in the Northern Area, force production for international operations, and the restructuring process in the Armed Forces will continue.

The Government will return to the issue of funding for possible new contributions to the UN operation in Lebanon and a possible operation in Sudan when the cost levels for 2007 are established. These costs are thus not included in the current budget proposal. The Government will also make further Norwegian military capabilities available should the situation in current and any new conflict areas call for this.

The proposed budget for material procurement represents an increase of NOK 30 millon in real terms, amounting to a total of NOK 7.8 billon. Total investment in nationally funded and NATO funded investments in building and property projects amounts to NOK 1.5 billion. Investments in nationally funded infrastructure projects are reduced by NOK 255 million.

The Army is given a high priority in the proposed budget. Allocated funding is increased by NOK 309 million in real terms. This increase is vital to strengthening the availability of forces for international operations and for building up the Army to the agreed goals for 2008. The Government’s ambition to increase Norwegian participation in international peace- and stabilisation operations under UN and NATO auspices is thus followed up. The Army will in 2007 have sufficient personnel to contribute to two international operations, each with units in the order of company size, simultaneously and sustained over time. When the agreed structure is in place in 2008, the Army will be able to maintain an engagement of battalion size in international operations over a period of three to five years.

The Navy’s proposed budget is strengthened with NOK 69 million, which primarily will cover the phasing in of the Fridtjof Nansen class frigates. Nationally, force production will be based in the North of Norway where possible. The Hauk-class Fast Patrol boats(FPB) that will be deployed to Lebanon will be important for the UN operation, while at the same time increasing the Navy’s competence, expertise and ability to contribute in future international operations.

The Air Force sees a strengthening of its budget by NOK 96 million. The increase will largely go towards maintenance of F-16 fighters, C-130 Hercules transport aircrafts, P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircrafts and DA-20 Electronic warfare aircrafts. In addition, the number of flight hours for F-16 will increase in 2007.

The Home Guard’s budget amounts to NOK 1.275 billion, including NOK 210 million in investment funds, entailing a continued priority of the Home Guard. The Government will give priority to training for all Home Guard force categories and increased operative activity compared to 2006. The Government considers the possibility that Home Guard units can be used in international operations, on a voluntary basis. The Government will return to Parliament on this issue.

The Coast Guard’s proposed budget increases with NOK 18 million in addition to the NOK 15 million increase the Government introduced in the current budget. In addition, NOK 20 million will be allocated to alterations on the Coast Guard’s three Nordkapp-class vessels. These alterations will reduce nitric acid discharge levels by 30 percent, while also reducing fuel levels and CO2 emissions. The budget increase will yield increased activity, primarily in the Northern Area. Preparedness along the coast, environmental monitoring and maritime rescue capacity will also be strengthened. The Government places a special emphasis on maintaining the capacity for sufficient and predictable reaction to violations in areas under Norwegian jurisdiction, including illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

International peace operations.The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is fundamental for stability and democracy in Afghanistan, and will continue to be the main priority of our international military engagement also in 2007. The Government also has a clear ambition to increase Norwegian participation in UN-led missions, and has offered to contribute with four MTB vessels to the UN-led operation in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The Government is also prepared to contribute with a larger engineer unit to a possible UN-led peace operation in Darfur. Norway will also continue its participation in the UN led missions UNMIS (Sudan), UNTSO (Middle East), UNMEE (Ethiopia/Eritrea), and UNMIK (Kosovo).

More money for soldiers. The number of conscript personnel will be kept at least at 2006 level. Women being called up for a voluntary meeting for the conscription board is hoped to increase the percentage of women entering the initial service. Demobilisation allowance for 2007 is proposed to increase by NOK 2 100 to a total of NOK 23 000 for personnel who have finished their 12 month initial service. In addition, the Government aims to increase the demobilisation allowance to NOK 25 000 by the end of 2008.

Material procurement budget. The level of the material investment budget permits the continuation of the modernisation process within the Armed Forces. The largest part of the investment budget goes to modernize the naval forces, where the main projects are new frigates, the new Skjold-class fast patrol boats(FPB), helicopters to the coast guard and navy, as well as system upgrades on the P-3/C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. For land forces, the main investments will be armoured vehicles and different types of equipment for the soldier. The dominant air force investments projects for 2007 will be short range air-to-air missiles and system upgrades for the F-16 Jet Falcon. Tactical datalink, and a new Enterprice Resource planning system (ERP) are also among the central investments.