Spain announces 7.3 billion Euros defense spending plan

On 14 December 2018, Spain’s Socialist government gave the green light for a 7.3-billion-euro renewal of military equipment which it portrayed as “social spending” that will create thousands of jobs, several media report. According to NATO, Spain is estimated to have used 0.93 percent of its GDP for military spending in 2018. In January 2018, when the conservatives were in power, Spain had announced it intended to increase by 73 % its military spending over seven years.

Spain announces 7 3 billion Euros defense spending plan 925 001
BMR-600 VEC reconnaissance armored vehicle of the Spanish army at military parade in Spain. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

“The defense ministry will launch three military programmes with an investment of 7.33 billion euros ($8.2 billion),” the ministry said in a statement detailing a plan that runs until 2032. Already on Thursday 13 December, the government announced its state-owned group Navantia would build five frigates for the navy for 4.3 billion euros.

On Friday, the defense ministry added a further 2.1 billion euros would go to developing and building 348 VCR 8×8 armoured vehicles. These will replace ageing BMR-600 6x6 wheeled armored vehicles which have been blamed for endangering soldiers because of a lack of sufficient armor.

In April 2017, Spain has announced a plan to acquire 348 "Piranha V" 8x8 wheeled armored fighting vehicles from General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) in a first phase of purchase. In a second phase, Spain could acquire around 1,000 vehicles for the Spanish army.

The development of the BMR-600 was started in 1972, between 1975 and 1976 the prototype, called the Pegaso 3.500, was tested under a wide range of operational conditions. First production vehicles were handed over to the Spanish Army in 1979. The BMR-600 is in service with the Spanish army in many different variants as armored personnel carrier, command post, NBC, reconnaissance, ambulance etc ...

The Piranha V is an 8x8 armored vehicle developed by the Swiss subsidiary company Mowag of General Dynamics European Land Systems. The Piranha V was unveiled during the Intedrnational Defense Exhibition in Paris, Eurosatory 2010.

The PIRANHA V sets a new survivability benchmark for the wheeled armored combat vehicle class and provides the highest levels of mine, improvised explosive device (IED) and ballistic protection. PIRANHA 5 has a next generation, full coverage, modular survivability system that has been integrated in the vehicle design from the concept stage.

The third programme aims to modernise Eurofighter fighter planes used by the Spanish airforce. Madrid has ordered 73 Eurofighters (Typhoon II).