Nad: Over €564 million Spent on Modernisation of Armed Forces Last Year

Nad: Over €564 million Spent on Modernisation of Armed Forces Last Year

Bratislava, March 29 (TASR) – More than €564 million, which is 32.6 percent of the defence budget, was spent on the modernisation of the Slovak Armed Forces last year, while more than 100 modernisation projects are open, Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad (OLaNO) said at a press conference on Tuesday evaluating his two years in office.

“We’re introducing modern technologies and getting rid of our dependence on Russia. The two biggest challenges we’re facing are the MiG-29 aircraft and the S-300 system,” said the minister.

A total of €17.5 million was spent on the equipment, and the soldiers could soon see new uniforms. According to Nad, the ministry increased funds for the maintenance of buildings and military infrastructure by 170 percent. The minister noted that the most money in history was used on military research and development. He also emphasised that all companies under the ministry were in black numbers.

Nad confirmed the intense discussions about increasing the defence budget but also the number of Slovak soldiers by at least 3,000. The creation of a fund worth €1 billion for unexpected defence expenditures is also being considered.

Chief-of-General-Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces Daniel Zmeko praised the recent adoption of the Military Strategy. As part of the re-organisation changes, he pointed to the achievement of the initial operational readiness of the Joint Operational Command. He also drew attention to the development of special forces and the emergence of an engineer regiment. An artillery regiment should be set up this year.

According to Zmeko, they have also succeeded in stabilising personnel in the armed forces over the past two years. The number of soldiers accepted exceeded the number of discharged ones. The occupancy rate is 77 percent, while the target level is over 80 percent. They could achieve it in the next two years.