Norway officials release new defence White Paper.
The Ministry of Defence has publicised a new White Paper covering defence spending between 2013 and 2016.
In it, officials state they aim to increase Norway’s defence budget by seven percent, which makes room for the purchase of the new F-35s. Purchasing four for training purposes is already planned, which leaves 48.
Withdrawing the country’s troops from Afghanistan also allows resources to strengthen the army.
Moreover, the new White Paper continues the development of the armed forces with the introduction of the Naval Strike Missile, the NH 90 Maritime Helicopter, and an increase in enlisted personnel.
Minister of Defence Espen Barth Eide says, “Over the past four years, we have undertaken a massive restructuring of our operational structures and equipment. The time has now come to focus even more on our people.”
The main focus of the paper is the new F-35 fleet, with the aim still being to purchase 52 of the aircraft. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Defence says the decision to buy the last six will be “confirmed separately at a later stage.”
Recommendations for the aircrafts’ main base at Ørland, with a smaller base at Evenes to allow for a quick response time, are also made.
“We remain confident that the F-35 represents the best capability for the best value possible. The purpose of the adjusted procurement plan is to give the Norwegian Government greater financial freedom of manoeuvre during the years of the main procurement by spreading out the cost more evenly,” added Minister Barth Eide.