Luxembourg increases air defence capabilities
The Luxembourg state has decided to strengthen its defence capabilities by investing in a high-resolution Earth observation satellite and in two Airbus 145M multi-role helicopters.
The government council approved on Friday the purchase of the satellite that will allow the country to meet its defence obligations as a NATO member, particularly within the organisation's defence planning mechanism.
Through this investment, Luxembourg will bring a significant contribution to international initiatives and operations, both at NATO and EU levels.
With Luxembourg's defence being traditionally specialised in terrestrial recognition, the satellite purchase supports the national defence programme for 2025 and allows for increased defence capabilities.
The ''Luxembourg Defence Guidelines for 2025 and Beyond'' foresees the development of space-based capabilities for observation, communication, transmission and analysis purposes, as well as the increase of security for the deployment of military personnel.
As for the two Airbus 145M multi-role helicopters, to be acquired through the NATO support and acquisition agency, they will support both military and police needs, making various defence capabilities available to several departments.
The German armed forces were the first to order the Airbus 145M multi-role helicopter model, followed by the Royal Thai Navy in 2016.
The ''Luxembourg Defence Policy Guidelines for 2025 and Beyond'' is the first public national policy document defining long-term defence policy directions for Luxembourg.
The Grand-Duchy seeks to develop its armed forces, modernise its intelligence, surveillance and recognition (ISR) capabilities, invest in new platforms for medical evacuation and maritime aerial surveillance and develop a government air hub at Findel airport.
At the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales, Luxembourg announced plans to raise its defence investments from 0.4% to 0.6% of the GDP in 2020.
In 2018, Luxembourg's annual defence efforts will exceed €320 million, amounting to roughly 0.5% of the GDP.