Defense budget to increase by €103 million
Estonia's defense budget is expected to rise by €103 million to €748 million next year. This will put the country's defense spending at 2.31 percent of forecasted GDP.
Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform) said this sum includes allied costs, a defense investment program, and new capability developments.
"We can send a strong message to both our allies and potential aggressor that Estonia takes its security very seriously and is ready to contribute to it," Laanet said.
The money saved from defense reform will be moved into capability development. In the coming years, the state plans to continue reforming personnel services, consolidating vehicle repair and maintenance services and warehouse management.
"Major capability developments, such as the acquisition of multiple launch rocket systems, is just as important as developing a comprehensive national defense from cyber to raising the preparedness of society as a whole," the minister added.
Soon a contract will be signed for the purchase of anti-ship missiles for €46 million. In addition, €25 million will be spent for the purchase of large-caliber ammunition and €25 million for the purchase of wheeled vehicles, which will increase defense preparedness.
Furthermore, self-propelled howitzers will be acquired additionally for €15 million, nearly half of the planned number of CV-90 combat support vehicles will be reconstructed for a total cost of €36 million, and the construction of a new defense forces campus at Raadi in Tartu will begin that will serve as home to the War and Disaster Medicine Center and the NCO and reserve officer school.
As part of the new state budget framework and the summer economic forecast, also the long-term forecast on the defense budget for the coming years, which will be the input to the new 10-year national defense development plan, was updated. The new development plan for 2022-2031 will be approved in October.
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Editor: Helen Wright