On October 11 next state budget bill that earmarked an EUR 128m increase to EUR 1176 million, or 7.1% of total expenditures, for national defence was presented at an informal Government meeting. If approved by the Government Wednesday, the bill will be further processed at a Parliament hearing.
“Modernization of the Armed Forces is a vital measure of deterrence which needs to be understood clearly by our society. The defence spending may look formidable, however, it is just the fifth biggest state budget funding recipient area. It would primarily benefit social welfare of military personnel and their families because military service needs to be motivating,” Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas says.
According to Minister, the increase in defence spending would allow to continue major ongoing capability development projects that respond to the geopolitical situation of the 21st century and the existing potential threats.
The necessary long-term defence spending plans focus on the following results: short-range air defence system, infantry fighting vehicles for the units declared for NATO and the Response Force in 2022, MCM capability reconstruction and three new military villages in 2023, in 2024 – meet the battalion battle group commitments to NATO, recognized maritime picture capability, Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the units declared for NATO and the Response Force. Also, next stages in the IFV and joint light tactical vehicle acquisition projects with an aim to have the entire Lithuanian Armed Forces fully equipped by 2031. Mid-range radar capability is also planned to be restored and fire support capabilities developed in 2025.
Modernization and development of the Lithuanian Forces.US and other allies’ military presence in Lithuania, public resilience , strengthening cybersecurity, improvement of service conditions, etc., will continue being the top of the priority list.
The MoD budget observes the NATO-recommended 50% limit for personnel spending and the minimum of 20% of the total of defence appropriations to be committed to major acquisitions.
A nearly total agreement among Lithuanian political parties of 2018 foresees and increase in defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.