Tuesday the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania passed draft Government Budget 2024 with EUR 2 billion 91.7 million, including 134.8 million in Solidarity Contribution, earmarked for national defence. The Defence Budget will reach 2.75% of GDP and most of it will be dedicated for strengthening Lithuanian Armed Forces capabilities.
“The increasing defence spending enables a quality breakthrough in Armed Forces modernization: acquisition of the most advanced weaponry systems, enhancement of combat capacity, fire support and maneuver, airspace surveillance and defence. All of it is a critical response to the security situation in the region,” says Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas.
The Defence Budget 2024 earmarks EUR 467.7 million for weaponry, military equipment and supplies. Other acquisitions get EUR 239.7 million. The appropriations for modernizations in the 2024 Budget will finance contracts made this year or earlier almost in total, while next year funding for the slot will be increased even more.
According to Minister A. Anušauskas, approx. EUR 2.7 million will be allotted to finance appropriations in 2024-2026 which makes it an annual 45% of the entire Defence Budget for modernization and strengthening combat power of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
“In the area of armament we are further pursuing such projects as acquisition of multiple launch missile systems, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled howitzers, anti-tank systems, artillery radars, combat drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, mid-range air defence systems. Repayment for utility helicopters, MCM and SAREX vessel, logistical, medical and other purpose vehicles, countermobility means is continued. Almost one fourth of the appropriations portion is earmarked for military stockpiles, most of it for acquiring standard battle ammunition,” lists Minister A. Anušauskas.
The Ministry of National Defence will centre on military infrastructure development further: EUR 230.80 million, including the EUR 127.8 million Solidarity Contribution, will be allotted in 2024 for training area and training infrastructure, ammunition warehouses and other infrastructure. Major part of the funds will be used to develop host Nation Support infrastructure, infrastructure for maintenance and storage of newly acquired equipment and ammunition, and improvement of military service conditions.
Approx. one third of the 2024 Defence Budget or EUR 761 million, is taken up by personnel expenditure. The slot must not exceed 50% of the total of defence budget according to NATO requirements. As Lithuania puts especially significant effort into capability development, personnel spending amounts to 36% of the defence budget.
Maintenance and other activity expenditure make up EUR 392.5 million, including EUR 7 million Solidarity Contribution.
The Defence Budget in 2024 is twice the 2020 defence spending plus (from EUR 1030.1 million to EUR 2091.7 million).
Photo credit: MoD / K. Kavolėlis