In its new long-term plan, the Government proposes a gradual increase in the defence budget over the next four years. The 2020-level will be NOK 7.2 billion (USD 860 million) above the 2016-level. In the coming 20 years, the plan suggests an accumulated total of NOK 165 billion (USD 19.7 billion) in additional funding for the Norwegian Armed Forces.
Chief of Defence, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, says the new plan represents a significant economic boost, and that it is a right step towards a relevant and credible defence.
Chief of Defence satisfied
The Admiral handed over his Strategic Defence Review to the Minister of Defence on 1 October 2015. Since then, Ministry of Defence has worked with its proposal for a new long-term plan. The work has been based on several studies, with the Strategic Defence Review being the most important.
In his review, Chief of Defence asked the Government for a further development of the Norwegian Armed Forces, including a significant increase in funding. Mr Bruun-Hanssen is satisfied with the proposed long-term plan:
"The Government proposes a modern defence of good quality, and with the ability to solve all its tasks. The long-term plan lays the foundation for a defence that can perform its role in NATO and be a credible deterrence for Norway," Mr Bruun-Hanssen said.
Among several measures, the long-term plan proposes a series of investments in capabilities of strategic importance. This includes the acquisition of the 52 planned F-35 fighters, four new submarines to replace the current fleet, replacement of Norway's maritime patrol aircraft and significant investments in modern air defence systems.
Furthermore, the government proposes rationalisation and further streamlining of the Norwegian Armed Forces – including management, support and administration. It also suggests a closedown of Andøya Air Station and move the station's maritime patrolling operations to Evenes, 90 km further south. The Coastal Ranger Command is also proposed closed down, but its boarding capacity will be retained and transferred to Haakonsvern in Bergen.
What happens now?
Parliament has formally received the Government's proposed long-term plan. Parliament is expected to debate and adopt the plan this autumn, probably in October–November.
The new plan will come into effect from 1 January 2017.
Download the brochure on the long-term plan here (PDF)