Published On: Sun, Apr 7th, 2024

Norway plans ‘historic’ defence boost as Russia warns NATO of ‘direct confrontation’ | World | News

Norway is planning to ramp up its defence spending as the threat from Russia remains high.

The government of the Nordic country unveiled on April 5 a proposal to the Norwegian Parliament hailed as a “historic boost” to its defence sector.

According to this plan, Norway will increase defence spending by more than £44billion (600billion kroner) over the next 12 years.

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a statement: “Providing security for the people of Norway is the Government’s most fundamental task. We need a defence that is fit for purpose in the emerging security environment.

“This plan represents a historic boost in defence spending, and involves a significant strengthening of all branches of the Armed Forces.”

One day prior to this announcement, the country’s Deputy Defence Minister, Anne Marie Aanerud, had told Politico: “We need major investments in our forces, and 12 years will allow for a longer planning cycle and more predictability.”

Overall, the Nordic country aims to spend for defence 1.6 trillion kroner by 2036, with the Navy getting the largest slice of the pie.

This branch of the Norwegian Army could be boosted with the acquisition of at least five new frigates with anti-submarine helicopters, at least five new submarines as well as 10 large and 18 smaller vessels.

Other branches would also receive new equipment, including new air defence systems and double the current number of National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems.

Moreover, Norway is planning to get some 4,600 more conscripts and 13,700 more reservists in 12-year-time.

Speaking about the proposed investments, the Norwegian Prime Minister added: “Norway is a maritime nation with a strong maritime legacy. The Government commits to strengthening the Navy, with new frigates, submarines and other vessels.

“The plan also involves a robust air defence package, including Norway’s first long-range air defence system. We will also strengthen the land forces by expanding the Army from one to three brigades and increasing the Home Guard to a total of 45,000 soldiers.”

Norway, one of the 12 founding NATO members, shares around 122 miles of border with Russia, with a single border crossing located in the area.

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