According to Minister of Defence of Estonia, Kalle Laanet, defence expenditures in the 2022 state budget agreed upon in the government is set to increase to EUR 748 million, which is 2.31% of the forecasted GDP. It includes costs associated with Allies, a defence investment programme, and new capability developments.
Thanks to economic growth and a political consensus, the largest defence budget in history ensures that existing capability gaps can be filled faster, thereby strengthening Estonia’s security.
‘I am pleased that with a budget increase of EUR 103 million we are able to send a strong message to both our Allies and any potential aggressors that Estonia takes its security very seriously and is ready to contribute to it,’ Laanet said.
In addition to the additional funding received from the budget, significant sums have been saved through defence reforms, which will be redirected to capability development. In the coming years, the plan is to continue with personnel service reforms, while consolidating vehicle repair and maintenance services and warehouse management.
Reforms will help to achieve more realistically manned and assembled combat-capable units in the field of national defence and to ensure that every euro invested in national defence produces the most realistic military defence capability possible.
‘The acquisition of major capability developments, such as the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), are as important as the development of comprehensive national defence extending from the cyber realm to raising the level of readiness of society as a whole,’ Laanet added.
An agreement will soon be signed in the amount of EUR 46 million for the acquisition of anti-ship missiles. In addition, EUR 25 million will be used to purchase large-calibre ammunition, and EUR 25 million to purchase wheeled vehicles, which will altogether raise defensive readiness. In addition, EUR 15 million worth of self-propelled artillery will be procured, almost half of the planned CV-90 armoured combat vehicles will be completed (the total cost of the project is EUR 36 million) and the construction of a new Defence Forces camp will begin at Raadi, where the new buildings of the Disaster Medical Centre and the NCO School will be located.
Also updated along with the new state budget framework and the summer economic forecast was the long-term forecast for the defence budget for subsequent years, which is an input to the new 10-year National Defence Development Plan. The new National Defence Development Plan 2022-2031 is scheduled to be approved in October.