BERN --- Meeting on February 20, 2019, the Federal Council approved the 2019 Armed Forces Message to Parliament. The proposed appropriations are mainly aimed at improving the reconnaissance assets and the modernization of the army’s logistics. The goal is also to renew some of the military equipment. The Federal Council proposes to invest around CHF 2 billion, an amount comparable to that of previous years.
The appropriations that the Federal Council proposes to the Parliament for the investments of the army are spread over the armament program (861 million francs), the framework funds for the equipment of the army (762 million francs) and the real estate program of the defense ministry (414 million francs).
Reconnaissance: acquisition of information in built and night-time
New reconnaissance assets are envisaged in response to the evolution of conflicts, which are taking place more and more in the presence of the civilian population, in the middle of increasingly densely built areas. To protect people and infrastructure in these areas, the military needs reliable and accurate information about the tactical situation. In addition, they must also be able to perform their tasks at night and in poor visibility. But gaps persist in these areas.
As a result, the Federal Council is proposing to add new stocks of light intensifiers, thermal imaging devices and laser aiming devices (213 million francs). This equipment will provide more information on built and night-time terrain and capture targets more accurately. The Federal Council also plans to provide the army with a tactical reconnaissance system (380 million francs) which will enable it to process and transmit information more efficiently and also to acquire information on the open ground. from a protected vehicle.
Also in response to changing forms of conflict, the Federal Council proposes to replace the 8.1 cm mortar in service for more than 40 years (118 million francs). A modern mortar will be faster and more accurate, and will thus limit collateral damage in built-up terrain.
Logistics: modernization and more efficient container management
In the 2019 Armed Forces Message, the Federal Council also gives pride of place to the logistics it wishes to modernize. To this end, it proposes in particular to strengthen the logistics infrastructure by focusing on efficiency in terms of container management. In addition to the renovation and development of the Rothenburg site, it plans to set up a terminal for 600 containers (75 million francs). The replacement of old trucks is also planned (150 million francs).
The real estate program of the DDPS also proposes to implement the first stage of development of Thun army base (84 million francs). The aim is to centralize the maintenance schools there, in order to close the Lyss barracks at a later date. In Payerne, it is planned to replace two old halls (85 million francs) which badly need to be renovated and which no longer meet the technical requirements. Finally, the Federal Council submits to the Parliament a framework credit for additional adjustments and various measures for the maintenance of value (170 million francs).
Renewal of the equipment of the army
As in previous years, the Federal Council proposes in the 2019 Armed Forces Message framework credits for the equipment of the army. The personal equipment of the military or the equipment for assistance with command and training are included in the framework credit for personal equipment and equipment to be renewed (440 million francs). Other credits are for studies, tests and preparation of purchases (150 million francs) as well as ammunition and munitions management (172 million francs).
Upgrading Career NCOs
In addition to investments in the armaments and real estate of the army, the Federal Council submits to Parliament a measure to upgrade the career management. Since 1 January 2018, the date of entry into force of the Army Development (DEVA), the Parliament has defined an additional incentive system for future senior non-commissioned officers and officers (section 29a of the Act). 'army).
Thanks to this system, the army can grant them a financial contribution for a military training, which they can then use to follow civil trainings. The Federal Council now intends to upgrade the training of lower-level cadres by also granting training allowances to non-commissioned officers. In order to implement this measure quickly, he proposes, in exceptional circumstances, a modification of the law on the army as part of the message on the army.