Luxembourg to spend €367 million on military vehicles
Luxembourg's government agreed on Wednesday to spend up to €367 million to replace and maintain its fleet of armoured military vehicles in a new effort to fulfil commitments to spend more on the shared defense of NATO.
The spending agreed during a meeting of ministers in Prime Minister Xavier Bettel's government would buy 80 lightly armoured vehicles for the Luxembourg army, as well as their logistical costs during their life cycle of about 15 to 20 years, Defense Minister François Bausch said in a statement.
The army's existing fleet of gun-bearing Hummer and Protected Reconnaissance Vehicles are obsolete and need to be upgraded "to guarantee the best protection of personnel and to improve interoperability with allied countries", the statement said.
The decision is part of an effort for the small but wealthy Grand Duchy to spend at least 0.72% of its gross domestic product on mutual defense effort by 2024, still far below the promise of NATO members to spend 2% of GDP by that date. Luxembourg spends among the least in the alliance relative to its economy.
In February, parliament approved spending €11.5 million a year to recruit 164 military officers and lower-ranked service members as well civilian personnel in the next four years. At the same time, lawmakers agreed to increase spending for the NATO Support and Procurement Agency in Capellen, which is the Western alliance's main procurement and logistics hub.
Luxembourg will bear two-thirds of the construction costs of about €200 million at the facility where around 1,300 people currently work.