Large Investments in the Norwegian Armed Forces
We must have a strong and modern defense that can prevent war and defend Norway. The government therefore proposes to start four new projects for around NOK 17 billion and change ongoing projects for around NOK 6.3 billion to strengthen the Defence, says Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram (Sp).
On March 31st, the government presented Proposition 94 S Investments in the Armed Forces and other matters to the Storting.
The government announced in January 2023 that artillery ammunition will be ordered from the Norwegian company Nammo for up to NOK 2.6 billion. The amount is now increased to NOK 4,245 million. The proposal is to speed up the purchase of long-range ammunition from Nammo Raufoss AS for the Army’s new K9 artillery gun to increase the range to a minimum of 40 km. In this way, we ensure that the Armed Forces receive ammunition faster than planned and that arrangements are made for increased production capacity, which will give Nammo more predictable conditions to invest further in increased production capacity and ordering of raw materials for production. It is important to contribute to Norwegian and other allied defense industries increasing the rate of production, says Gram.
New maritime helicopters
The government announced earlier in March that the US Seahawk will become Norways new maritime helicopter capacity. The first helicopters will be in place from 2025. The Seahawk is the same type of helicopter used by close allies and consists of proven technology. In the current security situation, we have put a lot of effort into putting in place a quick solution to the helicopter situation and from the time we terminated the contract on the NH-90 helicopters and until we get new maritime helicopters in place, only three years will have passed. It will strengthen national control, the Armed Forces’ preparedness and presence in the northern areas, says Gram.
New buildings for air defense, improvement of the main runway and securing of areas on Ørland
Ørland air station is the Norwegian Armed Forces’ main base for combat aircraft. The government proposes to make better arrangements so that the air defense units on the base can do their job more efficiently. The proposal includes a new administration building with offices and teaching rooms, and two halls for storing equipment. The government will also increase the cost limits for improving the main runway and the work to secure the area around the airport. Both of these projects are very important for the operation of the air station and for supporting own and allied air forces. Strengthens the Army The government also proposes to buy more of the bridge, engineering and rock armored vehicles for the Army. This is because the Army will grow. We are also increasing investment in electronic countermeasures in the Army, jamming equipment, to be able to disrupt an opponent’s chain of command and precision weapons. In these projects, options are triggered which obligate the suppliers to industrial cooperation with Norway. The national defense industry is also positively affected by the investments.
Updates for the Inner Coast Guard
The Inner coastguard are the non-seagoing coastguard vessels, and Norway currently has five vessels in the Nornen class. The vessels now need updating of several ship technical systems to improve operations and modernization to meet current requirements for HSE. In addition, the decor needs to be updated. The vessels are relatively slow-moving and use fast-moving patrol boats to increase the radius of action and increase the number of simultaneous missions. The patrol boats must now be replaced with new equivalent patrol boats. The main goal is to ensure that Norway’s five coast guard vessels in the Nornen class can continue to operate towards 2040.
Recovery of material donated to Ukraine
Large parts of the material donated to Ukraine have been taken out of the structure of the Armed Forces and must be acquired again. As of 21 March 2023, approximately NOK 4,610 million worth of material had been donated. The largest single donation that requires replacement is artillery shells for approximately NOK 1,516 million. Both the purchase of artillery ammunition, engineering and rock armored vehicles, as well as cargo vehicles involve re-acquisition after donation to Ukraine.