#FundingDefence - A significant boost in capital funding across the Defence Forces has been welcomed by the Minister of Defence. The funding for the Defence Sector is contained in the Capital Plan as an important element of the implementation of the White Paper on Defence.
The €437m allocated to Defence, including an additional €65m over the 2016-2021 timeframe, will provide a major boost from a strategic perspective and it will allow Defence to make significant investments in equipment and infrastructure over the lifetime of the Capital Plan.
Overall, the Defence capital envelope for the period 2016-2021 is €437m. This allocation will facilitate strategic decisions on planning for ongoing investment in defence equipment and infrastructure, over the coming years. The recently published White Paper on Defence sets out Ireland’s defence policy framework for the next decade. It has identified the increasingly complex nature of security threats in the world today and the associated capability requirements. It sets out proposals for the replacement of major equipment platforms over the next decade and other priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, in accordance with capability requirements.
The funding allocated in this Capital Plan will play a vital role is ensuring that the priorities identified in the White Paper can be met and that the Defence Forces can deliver fully on the roles assigned by Government. The duration of the plan, 2016 to 2021, is particularly significant in allowing for strategic medium-term planning so critical in the Defence environment.
While specific investment decisions, as prioritised in the White Paper, are still at the planning stage, the broad areas in which these capital funds will be invested are as follows:-
• Replacement programmes for defensive equipment for the Naval Service (as previously reported on Afloat.ie) across the Army and the Air Corps, including payments arising under the Naval Vessel replacement programme;
• Investment in Defence Forces Built Infrastructure including refurbishment of the Defence property portfolio and provision of replacement and additional facilities where required;
• Development of an international facility at the UN Training School in the Curragh – to facilitate training in peace support and in conflict resolution;
• Purchase of new and replacement Information and Communication Technology hardware across the Department and the Defence Forces.