Adds paras 5-8)TALLINN, Feb 13, BNS - The development plan of the Defense Ministry's area of government for the next four years calls for spending 210 million euros for purchasing ammunition for the defense forces during that period.Other important spending items listed in the development plan are wage increases for active service military personnel and acquisition of night vision equipment, bullet and splinter proof jackets for members of the defense forces.According to the development plan of the Defense Ministry's area of government for 2019-2022, the sum total set aside for defense spending in that period is 2.248 billion euros. Of that amount 38 percent will be spent for procurements, 29 percent for personnel costs, 16 percent for operating costs and investments, nine percent for reconnaissance and specal operations, and four percent for the infrastructure and subsidies each.The sum total envisaged for the purchase of ammunition during the four-year period is 210 million euros, compared with 174 million euros earmarked for the same purpose in the development plan for 2018-2021.Speaking at a press briefing Tuesday, Minister of Defense Juri Luik said that the focus of the development plan lies on increasing the combat capability of the defense forces in time of war. He listed wage increases for active service personnel, procurements of ammunition, investments in capability development, reconnaissance and an early warning system as most important points of the plan."The focus of this development plan is on the really existing defense force," the minister said. He said that while there always exists the possibility to have a defense force which looks good on paper but is not effective in an actual combat situation, "that would be a waste of resources."The secretary general of the Defense Ministry, Jonatan Vseviov, described the development plan as a very well balanced plan. He specifically pointed out that the plan sets aside 900 million euros for various procurements, including more than 200 million euros for the procurement of ammunition.Describing ammunition as "extremely expensive," Vseviov said that purchases of ammunition will remain in the focus of defense procurements for many years to come. One shot from the Javelin missile system costs 200,000 euros. Whereas ammunition for mortars is about one hundred times cheaper, more of its is required. With modern weapon systems simulators can be used successfully in training, which allows to save on costs, the official added.The development plan leaves in force the major decisions set out in the previous development plan.These include the replacement of man-portable firearms, development of reconnaissance, completion of the project for the acquisition of infantry fighting vehicles, procurement of six units of K9 self propelled howitzers, procurement of a command system for the Air Force, modernization of mine countermeasurs vessels, purchase of splinter proof jackets for the entire structure, formation of six additional light infantry companies with the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps, purchase of means of transport and purchase of night vision equipment for one-third of the manpower of the defense forces.The additions to the previous development plan include developing the logistics and pioneer capabilities of the two brigades, creation of a command and communication capability capable of cooperation with allies, acquisition of an air surveillance radar for the 2nd Infantry Brigade, equipping battalions of the 2nd Infantry Brigade with medical kits and purchase of pioneer equipment for it, as well as creation of a maritime communication capability meeting NATO requirements.Tallinn newsroom, +372 610 8814, firstname.lastname@example.orgBaltic News Service
Published: 13.02.2018 16:40
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