Norway’s Proposed FY 2007 Defense Budget
Norway’s government has proposed a defence budget for 2007 amounting to NOK 31 billion (about $4.65 billion), with increases in a number of areas. DID has covered their upcoming choice of a new fighter, the new hybrid-power patrol vessels being introduced, and the recent controversies around the Fridtjof Nansen Class AEGIS frigates.
The new budget spotlights increased funding and ongoing investment needs in a number of sectors, including:
- Higher priority to the Army (+NOK 309 million in real terms). The goal is to allow 2 international operations with company-sized units to be sustained, or an engagement of battalion size for 3-5 years. “For land forces, the main investments will be armoured vehicles [DID: see recent example] and different types of equipment for the soldier,” as well as improved soldier pay. Effective participation in ISAF and UN operations is a key goal, and the government has broached the subject of using Home Guard units in international operations on a voluntary basis.
- Some increases to the Navy budget (+NOK 69 million in real terms), mostly to cover phasing in the new Fridtjof Nansen Class. In addition, The largest part of the investment budget goes to modernize the naval forces including the new frigates, new Skjold-class air-cushion catamaran super-fast patrol boats, helicopters to the coast guard and navy, as well as system upgrades on the P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. The Coast Guard is also being strengthened, and northern operations are getting more of a focus.
- The Air force (+NOK 96 million in real terms) sees its increase go to maintenance and upgrade of Norway’s F-16 fighters and an increase in their flight hours, C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, and DA-20 Electronic warfare aircraft. It will be several years before the new fighter competition shows up in budgets.
For more, read the full English release at the Norwegian Fordvarsdepartementet site.