Spain to Spend Almost 2 Bn Euros On Special Weapons Programs
(Source:; posted Dec 01, 2017)
By Jorge Ventura (unofficial translation by
MADRID --- The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy will spend more than 1.8 billion euros on defense (more exactly, 1,824,476,938 euros), in 2016-2017, according to government documents viewed by the Spanish news website The expenditure is part of the Programas Especiales de Armamento (Special Weapons Programs, PEA), that is funded outside of the defense ministry’s budget.

The plan began in the 1990s and reached 37 billion euros in total and planned expenditure while Pedro Morenés was Minister of Defense (2011-2016—Ed.) .

The ministry, which is now headed by María Dolores de Cospedal, has stabilized it at 21 billion, after having paid out more than 8 billion to the defense industry, which, on the other hand, owes the Treasury about 10 billion euros for the advance payments they received when these modernization programs were launched.

The PEAs are developed in various phases and some will not finish until 2030, when Spain will receive the final aircraft of the second batch of Airbus Military A400M aircraft, out of a total of 27 transport aircraft that Spain, along with France, Germany, United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg is developing in an international program of the OCCAR, the European Agency for Cooperation in the Field of Armament. Other phases will be delayed until 2026, when it is estimated that the Navantia shipyard will deliver the last of the four submarines S-80 AIP (Air Independent Propulsion). As is natural, the payments are matched to the delivery dates of the equipment.

Army modernization spending is winding down

The Leopard 2E tank is a continuation of a program that began in the 1990s in colla is winding down
The Pizarro tracked combat vehicle is an "essential" complement of the Leopard, and is a joint development between the Austrian company Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG and the Spanish company Santa Bárbara Sistemas. A total of 263 armored vehicles in two phases, whose payments require payment of €110,649,824 euros in 2016 and €90 million euros more in 2017.

The acquisition of CIS (Communications and Information Systems) nodes for the Emergency Military Unit Program (UME), to equip itself with information and telecommunications systems that will provide telecommunications support, command and control, information and coordination of the activities of the EMU in emergency management, requires a payment of €5,965,200 in both years.

The objective of the VCR 8 × 8 national program is to obtain an 8 × 8 wheeled combat vehicle to replace the obsolete medium-armored wheeled BMR, with an estimated total amount of € 3,836.29 million, of which € 1,587,60 are for acquisition and 2,248.68 for maintenance and modernization during the 30 years of useful life.

The Air Force requires most funding

The Air Force programs are the ones that require the most funds for the cost of the elements and their number. The main one is the Eurofighter EF-2000 fighter, a versatile, twin-engine and highly manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, which is manufactured with the participation of the United Kingdom at 37 percent, Germany at 29 percent, Italy at 20 percent and Spain by 14 percent. To date, 61 aircraft have been received by Spain and only another nine remain; they will leave the production line until the end of 2018. The current spending ceiling approved in the Council of Ministers is 10,629.86 million euros; of which remain €347,146,173 euros in 2016 and and €288,790,000 euros in 2017 to be disbursed.

Industrially, the EF2000 Program for Spain represents 120 million man-hours of work and 3,000 direct jobs more than 19,000 indirect or induced jobs. More than 20 manufacturers and 300 auxiliary and service companies participate. ITP and Airbus participate, respectively, in the two international consortia of the program, the Eurojet and the Eurofighter.

The A400M Military Transport Plane Program foresees the incorporation of 27 transport aircraft through the development of an international Program in which Spain participates with Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg through OCCAR, the European Cooperation in Armaments.

The A400M is an airplane conceived in the experience accumulated by Airbus as a manufacturer of civil airplanes, but adapted to the military requirements to be able to act in all types of Airports and on unprepared runways. Designed from the outset to be an aircraft with dual transport and tanker functions, the A400M provides refueling capacity in flight as well as a logistics and tactical transport capacity to be able to operate on unprepared runways.

Spain received its first A400M aircraft on December 1, 2016 and has already made its first operational missions, and is expected to receive a total of 13 aircraft between 2017 and 2022, delaying the reception of the other 13 units for the period 2025-2030. An expenditure of 388,256,482 euros is planned for 2017. On the other hand, the Helicopter program is split between the Tigre combat and the NH90 multipurpose.

The Tiger is focused primarily to respond to the threat posed by land targets such as infantry, armored vehicles and buildings or structures. It has two main tasks: the first, to provide close, direct and accurate air support to ground units; and the second, destroy vehicles, battleships or not. Its program for a total of 18 devices is 1,515 million euros, of which 40,156,443 correspond to 2016 and 36 million to 2017.

Industrially, the Tiger Program represents 1.5 million man-hours of work and about 450 jobs. The production line of Tigre represents, together with that of the NH-90, the backbone of the Albacete Factory of Airbus Helicopters Spain. Also, Airbus Helicopters has manufactured in Albacete the rear fuselages of all Tiger helicopters of the aforementioned Program in the world. Other participating companies as sub-contractors at first level are ITP, Indra, Tecnobit, CESA, MTRI, Safran, Thales and Santa Bárbara.

The NH90 Helicopters, designed to operate in adverse weather conditions both day and night, and its modern transport condition, allow them to carry both troops and cargo of up to 2,500 kilos, carry out helitransported search and rescue operations, as well as other applications such as medical evacuation with up to a total of twelve stretchers, special operations, electronic fight, airmail, parachuting and flight training. They cost a total of 1,682.44 million euros for a total of 22 devices. In 2016, 94,285,001 euros and 187,487,048 were paid in 2017.

Spanish Navy

The S-80 Program provides for the construction of four diesel-electric submarines with an anaerobic propulsion system - called AIP (Air Independent Propulsion), to provide greater autonomy and discretion, with a ground attack capability. They are being built in Spain by Navantia as the main contractor and several national and international subcontracted companies. The first submarine is expected to be delivered at the end of 2021. The rest of the series is being analyzed by the Ministry of Defense and the shipyard and will probably take place between 2023 and 2026.

The estimated total cost is 2,135.54 million euros. Industrially and technologically, this program involves more than 6.4 million man-hours in engineering and 4.8 million man-hours per production vessel and there are more than 2,127 companies involved, 854 of them Spanish.

The BAM Program addresses the acquisition of two Maritime Action Vessels to complete the four units previously acquired in Phase I. Designed above all as a very versatile unit, the BAM is conceived as a Vessel that must allow maximum efficiency to carry out missions of control of the sea in scenarios of low intensity and with capacity of dissuasion and reaction to conventional threats of small draft, all this in oceanic scenarios or far from the national territory.

The total amount envisaged is 333.48 million euros and its construction involves 2,200,000 hours of work both from the auxiliary industry itself, generating an occupation for about 300 direct employees and another thousand indirect employees in an estimated period of time. about forty-nine or fifty months. The real impact extends to more than 300 companies participating in the BAM program. Of these, 84% are national. The expenses of the biennium amount to 999,994 euros each year.

The F-110 Frigate Program seeks to replace the six F-80 Anti-Submarine Frigates by developing and producing five new Frigates. They will be multipurpose ocean escort vessels with emphasis on antisubmarine wars and optimized to operate on the coast, so their sensors and weapons will be specially designed for high intensity scenarios and high density asymmetric threats. They will be built in Spain by Navantia with the participation of numerous national companies, such as Indra, Sener and Tecnobit. An average of 3.3 million working hours per vessel is estimated for Navantia, with an impact on the employment of 7,000 direct and indirect workers, especially in the area of the Ferrol estuary, to which must be added the employment of very high intrinsic qualification to technology.

There are other complementary Programs: construction of a Strategic Projection Ship LLX, with payments of 2,742,730 euros in 2016 and 2,742,730 euros in 2017, and a Supply Combat Ship (BAC), which requires the payment of one million euros in each year.


As for Armaments, the Special Programs finalize the Plan of acquisition of 2,550 Medium Range Counter-rocket Missiles Spike LR. to replace the Dragon for the Marines system and the Milan for the Army.

It is a program of Spanish nationality exclusively with a total cost of 324 million euros, and a planned financial ceiling of 364.69 million euros. The main contractor is General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas, the technological partner is RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems of Israel, and Tecnobit is the national subcontractor. In total, it is estimated that 480,000 man-hours of work have been generated. 20 million has been the disbursement in each annuity of the biennium.

Other Armament Programs include the acquisition of Iris T Missiles with one million budgeted each year; the Rema 155/52 howitzers, with ten million per year in the biennium and Alad Taurus Missiles, which represented a disbursement of 10,057,143 euros in 2016.


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