Ireland proposes increased funding for armed forces in 2018 budget

16 October 2017 (Last Updated November 2nd, 2017 11:52)

Ireland's Department of Defence has proposed an increase of more than €25m in defence funding as part of its 2018 budget.

Ireland’s Department of Defence has proposed an increase of more than €25m in defence funding as part of its 2018 budget.

The department has announced plans to allocate a total of €946m in defence funding for the year 2018.

The increased funding will be used to acquire force protection equipment and further the development of the armoured personnel carrier fleet.

It will also be used to purchase new and replacement ICT hardware systems.

Ireland Defence Minister Paul Kehoe said: “The increased 2018 defence allocation ensures that the men and women who serve Ireland with distinction have the capacity and the resources necessary to successfully undertake all prescribed government roles, both at home and overseas.”

The proposed budget is expected to allow the defence force to continue delivering on the commitments outlined in its latest White Paper.

“The multi-annual programme includes the replacement of the Air Corps Cessna aircraft and both of the Casa Maritime Patrol aircraft, and the mid-life upgrade of the Mowag APC fleet.”

The defence paper has identified and prioritised a broad range of replacement defensive equipment programmes and upgrades to the Defence Forces Built Infrastructure.

Kehoe added: “Significant boost to ongoing efforts at modernising and upgrading defence equipment platforms and built infrastructure.

“The multi-annual programme includes the replacement of the Air Corps Cessna aircraft and both of the Casa Maritime Patrol aircraft, and the mid-life upgrade of the Mowag APC fleet.

“Over the longer term, it enables the planning process to start for a Multi-Role Vessel to replace the current Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne.

“I am delighted to have been able to secure the continuation of this programme.”

The additional newly allocated €98m in capital funding brings the capital envelope up to €416m over the 2018-2021 timeframe, with the 2018 allocation increased to €77m, the department noted.