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21 Sep 23. Finland to Increase 2024 Defense Budget to €6.2bn, or 2.3% of GDP.
The 2024 Defense Budget Invests in Strengthening Defense Capabilities, NATO Membership and Supporting Ukraine. The Ministry of Defense’s administrative budget proposal for 2024 is a total of 6.2bn euros. Defense spending accounts for 2.3 percent of the gross domestic product forecast for 2024.
“The world around Finland is increasingly dangerous. Despite the difficult economic situation, defense must be prioritized. With the budget presentation, we will make additional investments in Finland’s defense capability, strengthen our operations as a NATO country and take into account support for Ukraine,” Defense Minister Antti Häkkänen says.
In the budget proposal, 259m euros are granted to the Defense Forces to replace the capabilities handed over to Ukraine. As a whole, around 1.5 billion euros will be allocated to defense material procurement for the year 2024. As planned, the increase in defense material procurements required by the change in the military operating environment will be approximately EUR 323m lower in 2024 than in 2023.
The 2024 budget proposal also includes a new EUR 117 million order authorization for defense material procurement, which will develop the performance of the logistics system as well as the navy’s clearance capability and underwater surveillance, and a new EUR 146 million order authorization for the Defense Forces’ spare parts procurement and system service and maintenance contracts. Expenditures for new order authorizations are scheduled for the years 2024-2028.
In the framework period 2024-2027, the allocation level for the Ministry of Defense’s administrative sector is 6.2bin euros in 2024 and 2025, and will decrease to 5.8bn euros for the years 2026 and 2027. The share of defense spending in the forecasted annual gross domestic product will remain at the level of two percent throughout the 9framework period. The change in the appropriation level of the administrative sector is mainly caused by annual fluctuations in the funding for the acquisition of multi-role fighter jets. The plan for the framework period includes funding for the direct costs related to NATO and the procurement of compensation for the material support delivered to Ukraine.
The supplementary budget compensates for the capabilities handed over to Ukraine
In addition, in the separate second supplementary budget for 2023, the appropriations for the Ministry of Defense’s administrative sector are proposed to be increased by a total of approximately 213 million euros in the current year.
The defense material handed over to Ukraine will be replaced with new acquisitions, so that there is no shortage in the military performance of the Defense Forces. The supplementary budget proposal contains a total of 579 million euros for replacing the handed over material starting in 2024. In the past, 776 million euros have been allocated for replacement procurements. The above-mentioned financial entities are budgeted for the years 2023–2028 for the 1.36bn euros worth of Ukraine’s material support compensation procurement 2023 order authorization.
The Defense Forces will be granted additional funding of 1.925 million euros in the 2023 budget to cover the costs caused by the damage to the Hawk jet trainer. An Air Force Hawk jet trainer had an accident and was damaged south of Keuruu in May 2023.
In accordance with the established practice, a cost level revision is allocated to the operating expenses of the Defense Forces, defense material purchases, and military crisis management equipment and administration expenses in accordance with the established practice, the amount of which for 2022 is a total of 131m euros.
In addition, in the supplementary budget proposal, the funding allocated to the Laivue 2020 project for the years 2020–2022 is proposed to be canceled and re-budgeted to its original purpose of use in the project, 230 million euros. The total funding of the Laivue 2020 project will remain unchanged.
The estimate of the value added tax expenses of the Ministry of Defense’s administrative sector will be reduced by 240 million euros based on the detailed payment schedule of the value added tax expenses related to the acquisition of multi-role fighter jets. In addition, the supplementary budget proposal also includes changes to payments for other ongoing procurements and technical appropriations. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Finnish Ministry of Defence)
21 Sep 23. UK headquarters planned for advanced jet fighter project of Japan, Britain, Italy – sources. Japan, Britain and Italy plan to choose Britain as the headquarters for their next-generation fighter program, four sources in Japan said, putting London at the forefront of a partnership that could expand to include other nations. The three countries established the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) in December after Britain and Japan agreed to merge their fighter efforts in a ground-breaking collaboration that aims to deploy an advanced aircraft by the middle of the next decade. Japan and Britain will dominate design and manufacturing on the project, with London’s deeper and more recent experience in jet fighter development likely to give it a leading role in organising the program, said three of the sources, who have knowledge of internal discussions.
“The headquarters will be in Britain, but for the sake of balance, someone from Japan could head it,” said one of the sources, all of whom asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.
“Discussion about the headquarters is ongoing and we are unable to comment on the location,” Japan’s defence procurement agency said in an email. A development framework for the fighter would be established in the next fiscal year, it added.
“No final decisions have been made on the locations and we will not comment on speculation,” a spokesperson at Britain’s defence ministry said.
Officials at the Italian defence ministry were unavailable for comment.
Reuters in March reported that Italy was set to pay for about a fifth of the overall development cost, which the country’s government dismissed as “speculative”.
On Friday, the head of Italian defence and aerospace group Leonardo (LDOF.MI) said Saudi Arabia would not be a core partner in the project, after the Financial Times last month said it was pushing to join.
GCAP could welcome the country in a more limited role because it would bring money and a lucrative market to a project expected to cost tens of billions of dollars, the three sources said.
One of its neighbours in the Middle East, The United Arab Emirates, has also shown interest, they added.
There had been conversations on possibilities with Saudi Arabia, but no decision beyond that, Richard Berthon, director of Future Combat Air at Britain’s Ministry of Defence, said at London’s DSEI arms show last week.
“It was made clear in London that it could possibly come in at a later date,” an Italian defence ministry source said, declining to be identified because they are not authorised to speak to the media.
Britain’s lead company in GCAP is BAE Systems PLC (BAES.L), with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7011.T) representing Japan.
European missile maker MBDA will also join the project, along with avionics manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Corp (6503.T). Britain’s Rolls-Royce PLC (RROYC.UL), Japan’s IHI Corp (7013.T) and Italy’s Avio Aero will work on the engine. (Source: Google/Reuters)
20 Sep 23. Netherlands Plan €21.4bn Defense Budget for 2024. Budget Day 2023: Threats Worldwide Underline the Need for a Strong Armed Forces. The increased threats worldwide make strong armed forces necessary. The government has budgeted 21.4bn euros for next year. This is to fulfill the constitutional tasks of Defense and to strengthen the readiness and deployability of units. The strengthening of the armed forces is increasingly being done in collaboration with European and NATO partners. Support for Ukraine will also continue unabated by continuing to supply equipment and train the Ukrainian armed forces.
Strengthening the armed forces starts with the personnel. Defense is working hard to recruit and retain personnel despite the tight labor market. The resources will also be used to strengthen readiness and combat power. This strengthening takes place in close cooperation with EU partners and NATO allies.
Strengthen readiness and combat power
In 2024, Defense wants to strengthen readiness and combat power in various ways. The Combat Support Ship will be delivered next year so that frigates will be able to stay at sea longer. A contract is also signed for an additional aircraft, expanding tactical air transport capacity. In addition, the capacity of the Royal Military Police to provide assistance to civil authorities is being gradually strengthened.
The ammunition stock in the armed forces will increase in the coming years. The Spike long-range anti-tank missiles will be delivered next year. This also applies to shoulder-fired light anti-tank missiles, 155mm artillery shells and mortar ammunition.
The purchase of long-range missiles for the navy, army and air force are examples of new capabilities. These contribute to greater effectiveness and credible deterrence.
Defense also focuses on promising knowledge and innovation systems, such as Brainport, Netherlands Radarland and Brightlands.
Under the heading ‘Space for Defense’, the organization determines how much space is needed for exercises. This is important to properly carry out constitutional tasks and increase readiness. This involves sufficient space for, for example, practicing and training with new equipment, helicopters and fighter aircraft. But also for real estate and the storage of ammunition. The first step is to identify which specific possible location(s) this concerns and what their environmental effects are.
Thanks to the broad international support from the Netherlands and partner countries, Ukraine can continue to successfully defend itself against Russian aggression. Until August this year, the total value of military support provided to Ukraine was approximately 1.9 bn euros. Support will continue in 2024. It is important to continue to support Ukraine with ammunition, air defense and other goods.
More soldiers are coming in, even more quickly next year. The organization makes better agreements with employers to improve the position and inflow of reservists. The number of training positions is also increasing, especially in IT companies. Furthermore, Defense is doing everything it can to conclude a new employment conditions agreement this year. The old one expires December 31.
Veterans deserve appreciation, respect and the care they need. The veterans policy provides an important basis for this, continuously looking for opportunities for improvement. For example, there will be an emergency shelter for homeless veterans, which will be ready next year. The ‘Veteran for the Classroom’ initiative will also be continued.
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Netherlands Ministry of Defence;)
20 Sep 23. Russia’s corvette carries out firing drills at Baltic Sea – Russia’s defence ministry. Russia’s Stoikiy corvette of the Baltic Fleet carried out firing drills at mock targets in the Baltic Sea, the Russian defence ministry said on Wednesday.
The crew of the small warship conducted a series of scheduled exercises, firing at surface and air targets in a “difficult jamming environment” with the use of electronic countermeasures of a possible enemy, the ministry said.
“The sea range of the Baltic Fleet, where the exercise took place, was declared temporarily dangerous for civil shipping and aviation flights,” the ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging platform.
It was not clear when the drills took place.
The Baltic Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy is headquartered in Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania, both NATO member states, on the Baltic Sea.
Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Gerry Doyle
19 Sep 23. British Army Announces New Way of Winning Future Wars. A new approach to fighting and winning wars has been launched by the British Army. Eighteen months in the making, ‘The Land Operating Concept – A New Way of Winning’, sets out how the Army will respond to future threats to the UK.
The radical new strategy for fighting and winning wars was announced by General James Bowder, Director of Army Futures, at DSEI 2023 on Thursday (14 September).
Over the next decade, competing states will threaten the UK while instability driven by violent extremists, climate change, evolving demographics and the malign activity of hostile states will play out.
This will place significant demands on the Army to deter and, if needed, eradicate threats at range.
“Battlegroups that can see further and shoot further in direct and indirect fires terms than we have ever managed before. Drones that can see and sense well beyond the next tactical bound,” said General James Bowder, Director of Army Futures.
The Land Operating Concept (LOpC) predicts four areas of significant change. Armies across the world will increasingly find themselves:
An exponential increase in both the quality, and number of, advanced sensors and precision weapons is resulting in an expanded and more transparent battlefield. It is becoming much more difficult for soldiers to hide and survive.
The march of autonomous systems will continue. Developments in robotics on the ground, and especially in the air, are already forcing tactics to change.
Meanwhile, Artificial Intelligence will see a step-change in the speed and accuracy of targeting and decision making. Humans will remain in the loop but dependency on autonomous systems will grow.
Adoption of advanced technologies means a greater reliance on data, software and the digital networks which connect them.
A network’s links are inherently susceptible to interference, while its nodes are exposed by their broadcasts. If everything is connected, everything is vulnerable.
The prevalence of cameras, mobile technology and the internet means that combat increasingly takes place in a global goldfish bowl.
With military actions being more closely scrutinised in real time, maintaining surprise, deception and legitimacy will be more of a challenge.
In response to these predicted changes, the British Army will Fight by Recce-Strike.
Recce-Strike is the intelligent combination of surveillance capabilities with artillery and other strike assets to find the enemy as far forward as possible and destroy them.
The future army will aim to apply this approach at every level, in battlegroups, brigades, divisions and in the corps, drawing – where available – on air, naval and space capabilities.
The Ranger Regiment and Special Operations Brigade will play key roles in this new approach to finding the enemy as far forward as possible and neutralising the threat.
General Bowder said this new approach to warfighting will mean “Battlegroups that can see further and shoot further in direct and indirect fires terms than we have ever managed before. Drones that can see and sense well beyond the next tactical bound.
“Pervasive electronic surveillance that can spot enemy ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) and C2 (Command and Control) before it can land a punch. Anti-armour weapons that can kill at ten kilometres and beyond.”
However, whilst technology will continue to drive tactics, the bravery and ingenuity of the British Army’s soldiers will remain fundamental to its success and will matter more than equipment.
Adopt a new approach to survival
The protection of soldiers will be at the heart of the new strategy, due to the increased risk of being revealed by drones or electronic surveillance and struck by long range missiles.
Fighting forces will disperse, deceive and conceal themselves whilst hunting down the enemy’s artillery, surveillance assets, logistics chains and command nodes.
Exploit the electromagnetic spectrum and cyberspace
This will be a key determinant of success on a future battlefield given digital dependence on both sides. Outmanoeuvring, outpacing, and outmatching an opponent on this critical frontline will invariably lead to tactical advantage.
Reboot logistics to make them fit for the ‘Precision Age’
The reach and accuracy of contemporary and future artillery places traditional approaches to logistics, and the resupply of land forces, in jeopardy.
Large logistics nodes are tempting targets and an effective enemy will punish a force which concentrates its supplies.
The new approach will draw upon dispersal, concealment, forward manufacture, and repair, as well as contracted support to offset the challenges of a more dispersed and expanded battlefield.
Seize the initiative in the information environment
Land forces must increase the speed, reach and sophistication of their information warfare capabilities to set the conditions for success before conflict and to quickly help shape perceptions if a crisis unfolds.
They must be first with the truth, adept at calling out misinformation and expert at publicising the enemy’s missteps. The Army’s 77 Brigade will lead on seizing and maintaining the initiative in the information environment.
During his keynote speech at DSEI earlier this week, General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the General Staff, said the Land Operating Concept is: “The most robustly evidenced and inclusive piece of conceptual thinking that the Army has produced in over three decades. This places the British Army at the intellectual edge of land warfare, able to lead in NATO and support our sister service across all domains.”
In developing the LOpC, the Army has engaged widely across NATO, to ensure it aligns with their strategic vision, and with the Five-Eyes alliance that includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
In closing, General Bowder said the Army in the future will “continue to think, experiment and adapt in response to the inevitable continued march of external change.
“And we will do so in the closest possible collaboration with the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and UK Strategic Command, as well as NATO partners. After all, the land force is but a cog within a multi-domain and coalition machine. As much as anything else, the power of combinations will unlock the future land battle.”
The LOpC has been subjected to rigorous testing by leading academics from RUSI, the Institute for Strategic Studies and other bodies, scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and defence industry experts, such as QinetiQ.
(Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ British Army)
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