21 juin 2018 | Aérospatial, Terrestre, C4ISR

Here’s what the Czech military wants to buy with its record $4.5B modernization program

WARSAW, Poland — Lt. Gen. Ales Opata, the chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces, has unveiled plans by the country to spend 100 billion koruna (U.S. $4.5 billion) on what he called the largest military modernization program in the Czech Republic's history.

By 2027, the Czech military is to acquire 210 infantry fighting vehicles, 50 self-propelled howitzers, 12 multipurpose helicopters, two transport aircraft, and short-range air defense systems and combat drones, among other materiel. The purchases are to allow the Czech Armed Forces to replace a decisive share of its Soviet-designed gear.

“Soldiers must feel that the Czech military budget is rising, and that the situation is starting to improve,” Opata said, as quoted in a government statement.

The government also plans to acquire new 3-D radars. However, the pending purchase of eight ELM-2084 multimission radars from Israel's Elta Systems, a subsidiary of IAI, is currently under investigation by the Czech military police. The procedure was initiated on the request of Defence Minister Karla Slechtova amid concern over the equipment's interoperability with NATO infrastructure.

This year, Prague's defense expenditure is to total 58.9 billion koruna, up 12 percent compared with 2017, according to government figures.


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  • New Swedish government advocates for greater defense spending

    13 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    New Swedish government advocates for greater defense spending

    By: Gerard O'Dwyer STOCKHOLM — The Swedish military can expect to see a sizable increase in its annual budget regardless of the composition of the new government that will be formed in the wake of parliamentary elections. All of the mainstream parties, including the ruling Social Democrats (SDP), the Moderates, the Center, Liberals and the Sweden Democrats' right-wing nationalist party, campaigned on delivering a stronger national defense and channeling a much higher level of spending to the Swedish Armed Forces over the next 10 years. "Sweden needs a more resilient national defense capability that is better funded and resourced," said Stefan Löfven, the SDP's leader and Sweden's prime minister. The SDP is hoping to assemble a new government in partnership with the Leftist and Green parties. These three parties secured a 40.8 percent share of the popular vote in the recently concluded September 2018 election. Löfven's main challenge is the center-right Alliance group, which includes the Moderates, the Center, Liberals and Christian Democrats. Together, the four Alliance parties won 40.3 percent of the popular vote. The Alliance is looking to form a new government that excludes both the SDP and the Sweden Democrats. The Sweden Democrats raised its share of the popular vote to 17.6 percent. All mainstream parties have ruled out forming a coalition that includes the Sweden Democrats. Defense will be very much on the minds of Sweden's new government, against a backdrop of an unpredictable Russia and a domestic military that is unable to either fund major new procurement programs or work within the tight parameters of the current budgeting framework. By: Aaron Mehta “Sweden's national defense has been neglected for decades. What has happened is shameful. The budget allocated to the armed forces must reflect needs, operational realities and the requirement to replace outdated equipment. The goal should be to raise spending on defense to 2 percent of GDP, the recommended NATO level, inside 10 years,” said Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderates and someone being widely tipped to become Sweden's next prime minister. The Alliance supports a more ambitious spending plan for the military that would increase the armed forces' budget by $2.3 billion in the 2019-2021 budgetary period. “The [Swedish Armed Forces] needs to be able to afford to run essential equipment-replacement programs. We need more Army brigades, more fighter aircraft, and among other things an increased cyber defense capacity,” Kristersson said. Restoring the military's budget and finances to levels that actually reflect the force's capability requirements will take time. The organization's budget has been in decline since the Cold War era of 1963, when defense spending amounted to 3.68 percent of Sweden's gross domestic product. Spending as a ratio of GDP had dropped to 1.1 percent by 2015. It currently stands at about 1.03 percent, a historic low. A force development plan endorsed by the armed forces favors an increase in annual spending on defense to between $7.36 billion and $9 billion by 2025. In the longer term, and by the year 2035, the military would like to see defense spending rise to more than $12.1 billion. At the same time, the Swedish Armed Forces would be strengthened from the current 50,000 personnel of all ranks to 120,000 by the year 2035. This proposed new look, improved capability and reinforced organization would comprise at least four brigade-level units, a light infantry special forces regiment, a fleet of 24 surface combat naval vessels and six submarines, eight fighter squadrons, and 120 Gripen combat aircraft. Stefan Löfven's SDP-led government adopted new measures in 2017 to increase annual spending on the military from about $4.7 billion to $6.6 billion by 2019. Under the spending plan supported by the Alliance, defense expenditure would grow year on year after 2019, reaching $8 billion by 2024. Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/09/12/new-swedish-government-advocates-for-greater-defense-spending

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