The Norwegian government proposes an increase of about NOK 3.5 billion, which gives a defense budget of about NOK 64.5 billion in 2021. This is a real increase of 4.1 per cent from the budget this year and a real increase of 30 per cent since 2013.
The defense budget has increased quarterly under this government, with a sharp annual increase quarterly from 2017. With the proposal, the government follows up on the promises in the long-term plan for the defense sector.
The government has taken important steps and reversed some developments in the Armed Forces. Norway is today better equipped to take care of our security interests. The Armed Forces operates more and has a higher level of activity than in many years. At the same time, the Armed Forces are facing major challenges in 2021.
“It is demanding that several things are done at the same time. We have increased requirements for responsiveness, preparedness and the ability to persevere. At the same time, we will continue the modernization of the infrastructure, we will phase out old equipment and phase in new. Since 2017, the focus on maintenance, spare parts and contingency stocks, including catching up on backlogs, has improved the operational forces.
“We define spare parts and contingency stocks as supply contingency, and it takes time to build up, and the work will continue with increased strength in 2021. We will fill contingency stocks with equipment and spare parts so that we can meet operational requirements and turnaround times,” says Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen.
It is mainly the Army's supply readiness that will be strengthened, and in total more than half a billion kroner will be set aside for supply readiness in 2021, especially ammunition, spare parts and medical consumables.
“Through continued and increased investment in supply readiness, the Armed Forces will gradually increase its ability to withstand stresses, and we facilitate a robust structure and operational capability over time. Better supply readiness is a high priority for the Chief of Defense,” says the Minister of Defense.
Both the current long-term plan and the government's proposal for a new long-term plan provide for significant increases in the budget in the years ahead. This will improve preparedness and the operational capability of the Armed Forces, something that is crucial to meet the change and sharpen the security policy situation.
Security for Norway
Security and trust are important to the government. A strong national defense is needed to meet the challenges together with NATO and our allies. By safeguarding our security policy interests, we also have room for maneuver in other policy areas. With the state budget, the government responds to the long-term challenges Norway faces: We will create more and include more. We will contribute to the companies getting started again all over the country and that as many people as possible get to work. We need to create more jobs, in more industries, across the country. The defense budget also contributes to this.
The government therefore proposes, among other things, to:
-- Strengthen supply preparedness by about half a billion kroner. It is mainly the Army that will be prioritized in 2021 - with ammunition, spare parts and medical consumables.
-- invest about NOK 220 million in buildings for the Cavalry Battalion at Porsangmoen and the rifle company at Høybuktmoen in Troms and Finnmark.
-- invest about NOK 1.3 billion in Evenes airport in Nordland.
-- invest about one billion kroner to Ørlandet airport in Trøndelag.
-- invest about NOK 350 million to Haakonsvern in Western Norway.
-- increase investment in new maritime patrol aircraft, sea target missiles and land-based transport support by a total of NOK 1.4 billion.
-- finance new fighter jets with a base solution of NOK 7 billion (approx. $808 million—Ed.)
-- benefit NOK 1 billion for Norway's efforts in international operations.
-- have a high level of activity in the Armed Forces and build up the departments in Finnmark Land Defense.