In the national budget for 2014, the government continues to give considerable priority to the Norwegian Armed Forces, and to ensure a predictable and stable foundation for the further modernisation of the Defence sector. Maintaining a sustainable balance between resources, assignments and future ambitions continues to be at the heart of the Norwegian defence transformation.
The budget proposal for 2014 amounts to a total of 43,008 billion NOK. This constitutes the largest per capita defence budget among European NATO allies and is among the 10 largest defence budgets in Europe. The budget represents an actual increase of 519 million NOK allocated to operational activity and other priorities, made possible through a redistribution of resources from a reduced presence in Afghanistan and efficiency gains. The budget for defence procurement amounts to 10, 932 billion NOK, or about 25 % of the total budget.
Main priorities in the 2014 Defence budget
Strengthening operational activity in the Armed Forces
The operations and maintenance budgets of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Home Guard receive a real increase of 118 million NOK in 2014. Including efficiency gains the actual increase totals 227 million NOK. This increase continues the considerable strengthening of operational activity that has been a main focus of Norwegian defence transformation in the latter years. It also underpins the development of a more deployable Army of higher quality with increased personnel strength, the introduction and operation of new and major capabilities in the Navy and Air Force and increased training and quality in the Home Guard.
Continued modernization by investing in new and modern equipment:
The budget for defence procurements is kept at a high level, proposing 8, 874 billion NOK allocated to materiel investment in 2014, or about 21 % of the total defence budget. The majority will be spent on already ongoing projects to implement the defence structure in the new long-term plan.
The procurement of the F-35 fighter aircraft will provide the Armed Forces with an historic increase in capability. In the budget proposal for 2014, the Parliament is asked to approve the procurement of another six aircraft for planned delivery in 2018, in addition to the ten aircraft already approved for procurement.
Increased contributions to safeguard public security:
In 2014 the assistance provided by the military to safeguard public security will be further developed and strengthened. Helicopters are on permanent readiness in Northern and Southern Norway to provide assistance for the police. The cooperation between the civilian and military security and intelligence services and the National Security Authority will be further developed.
Strong focus on personnel and veterans’ welfare:
Work on implementing the overarching reform in the area of personnel and competency will continue in full force in 2014, as will the action plan for the care of personnel before, during and after serving abroad. In addition, necessary preparations to implement the historical decision to adopt conscription for both men and women will be made.
Increased contribution to public cyber security:
The budget of the National Security Authority will further increase by 20,2 million NOK to strengthen its role and activities in preserving national cyber security.
Finalize the restructuring of the Norwegian military contribution in Afghanistan:
The restructuring and reduction of the Norwegian military presence in Afghanistan will be finalised in 2014, and adjusted in correspondence with NATO’s concept for the new operation. The draw down is estimated to free up another 338 million NOK in 2014, to be redistributed to areas targeted in the long-term plan.