Revised National Budget: Proposes a NOK 13 Billion Increase of the Defense Budget

Forsvarsminister Bjørn Arild Gram
The Norwegian government's proposal of an increased defense budget will allow Norway to reach its ambition of spending 2 percent of the GDP for defense purposes in 2024. "It sends an important message to our allies when we gather for NATO's summit in Washington DC this July," says MoD Bjørn Arild Gram (Centre). (Photo: Anette Ask / the Norwegian Armed Forces)

With the proposed increase of the revised Norwegian national budget, the defense budget will go from NOK 91 billion to NOK 104 billion a year. Several of the initiatives drafted in the long-term defense plan could now start earlier, says MoD Bjørn Arild Gram (Centre).

Norwegian version.

The Norwegian Minister of Finance, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Center), presented the revised national budget 2024 this week, in which one of the main priorities is the continued strengthening of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

The government proposes strengthening the defense budget by NOK 13 billion in the revised national budget. The allocations to the Armed Forces enable Norway to reach NATO's two percent target as early as 2024.

"For the government, it is essential to start investing in defense as soon as possible. The defense budget is now surpassing NOK 100 billion for the first time, proving that Norway is taking its own and NATO's joint security seriously," says Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram (Centre) in a press release.

NOK 6 billion to the Norwegian Armed Forces

Of the 13 billion, six are proposed for increased military support for Ukraine and seven for increased operational ability in the Norwegian Armed Forces.

According to the budget document, the latter includes five billion to facilitate the follow-up of the long-term defense plan that the Norwegian government put forward earlier this spring. NOK 2 billion will enable increased operational ability and activity quickly.

Other aspects include strengthening the Home Guard with NOK 180 million, 150 million of which will go to increased activity in 2024. In addition, NOK 30 million is proposed for purchasing apparel and equipment for the Home Guard personnel.

The government also proposes NOK 200 million for necessary maintenance of the logistics vessel KNM Maud to maintain necessary operational capacity and activity level, as well as funds for maintenance of P-8 maritime patrol aircrafts.

Long-term defense plan projects could start earlier

"Both the support to Ukraine and the investment in the Armed Forces at home is important considering the security policy situation. Ukraine's defense battle is also ours, and the long-term plan will provide us with the defense we need to keep Norway safe," Gram adds.

The MoD says increased allocation also entails an earlier start for several of the initiatives drawn up in the Armed Forces' long-term plan. 

"Necessary projects which take long to plan and execute could start earlier. That means that property, buildings, and facilities could be finished before planned to contribute to keeping and recruiting people to the Armed Forces. We will also speed up the purchase of air defense systems. In total, NOK 5 billion will go to facilitating various investments and measures. The remaining two will be spent on more training, practice, and operation for the Armed Forces," says the MoD.

Allocations for the Armed Forces in the state budget and the long-term plan

When the state budget was presented in October 2023, the government proposed a defense budget of NOK 90,8 billion.

With the proposed increase of the revised national budget, the defense budget will increase from NOK 91 billion to NOK 104 billion.

Earlier this year, the government also presented its Long-Term Plan on Defense, which will strengthen Norway's defense with NOK 600 billion in the next 12 years, from this year to 2036.

This entails that the 2036 defense budget will amount to NOK 166 billion.

The Long-Term Plan on Defense is being processed in parliament. Some necessary projects can still be started now with money from the revised national budget.

Source: Regjeringen.no

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