Norway: new main battle tank acquisition project

Norway’s long-term planning process is carried out under the direction of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence. The “Long-Term Plan – Materiel” forms the basis for all materiel procurements in the short term (4 years), the medium term (8 years) and the long-term perspectives (20 years). The plan is updated annually to reflect updates based on changing requirements, available resources and progress in on-going acquisitions. A major point will be the replacement of the Leopard 1 MBTs and variants with Leopard 2 ones.

Norway new main battle tank acquisition project
The Leopard 1 MBT and variants will be replaced with Leopard 2 ones (Picture source: Wikipedia)

The Government’s national strategy for the defence industry was recently revised and presented as a new White Paper to Parliament (Meld. St. 9 (2015–2016) Nasjonal forsvarsindustriell strategi) and covers the relationship between the Defence Sector and the defence industry.

The new White Paper focuses on national security interests and security of supply as basis for the new policy and strategy. The strategy implies that Norway should increasingly cooperate with other nations on defence procurement.

The bulk of the investments within the Land Systems Programme target various vehicles: combat vehicles (medium-weight, standard armored vehicles CV90, armored reconnaissance systems (CV90)) and artillery; new main battle tanks (MBT) and new Combat Service vehicles on Leopard 2 chassis (Recovery, Bridge layers and Engineer vehicles) to replace the Leopard 1 series; upgrade of M113 and SISU armored vehicles.

A number of smaller investments target military logistics within five main subject areas: CBRN-protection (Chemical / Biological / Radiological / Nuclear); engineering; logistics; medical service; military geography (maps and geographical information); acquisitions of equipment for the dismounted soldier. This includes personal equipment in protection, clothing, mobility and endurance. Furthermore, the soldier’s C2I-systems need modernisation. Projects for a continuing modernisation of the soldier equipment are planned within the core functions lethality, protection, mobility, sustainability, C2I and logistics. Acquisitions for the Special Forces are naturally at the agenda too.