On 1 July Germany's federal government approved the draft 2023 federal budget, as well as finance plan 2022−26 and the Bundeswehr special fund announced following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Military spending for the next four years reflects the benchmarks decided by the federal cabinet in March, having been revised upwards by only a few million euros. Core defence spending in 2023 will amount to EUR50.1 billion (USD55.4 billion), a 0.6% nominal decrease from 2022 but a EUR2.76 billion increase compared with the estimate in the finance plan approved in June 2021. The core allocation to defence is set to remain flat in nominal terms until 2026.
The biggest development concerns the expenditure plan for a EUR100 billion special fund to modernise the Bundeswehr announced in a landmark speech by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in February and approved by parliament in June. The fund is to be spent within five years and will count towards meeting Germany's NATO commitment of spending 2% of GDP on defence.
India clears acquisition of Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle
01 February 2023
by Kapil Kajal
The Indian Army seeks to replace its fleets of BMP-1 and BMP-2, pictured from an Indian Army exercise in November 2022, with the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)
India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved the procurement of the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) for the Indian Army.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement that the procurement, approved through the provision of an ‘Acceptance of Necessity' (AoN) status under the ‘Buy (Indian)' category, includes the tracked version of the FICV for the Mechanised Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army.
The MoD added that the FICV should be amphibious and equip a manned turret with the future combat system (FCS), and fire-and-forget top-attack anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
The FICV must be inducted with an automatic cannon of at least 30 mm calibre, a co-axial machine gun, and a stabilised remote control weapon station (RCWS) with a 12.7 mm machine gun.
The FICV must be equipped with active protection and laser warning systems, and it must have a carrying capacity of 11 soldiers.
Ukraine conflict: Canada to ship Leopard 2s to Ukraine
30 January 2023
by Meredith Roaten
The Canadian Department of National Defence announced on 26 January that Canada would contribute four Leopard 2A4 MBTs to Ukraine. (Rheinmetall Canada)
Canada will follow Germany's lead and send four Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine, the minister of national defence announced on 26 January.
The Canadian Armed Forces will provide Leopard 2A4 tanks and training on how to use them, and could send more pending maintenance and sustainment discussions, said Defence Minister Anita Anand during a televised briefing. She said the Leopard 2s are “battle ready” and can be deployed over the next few weeks.
“The four tanks that we just announced will be going as soon as possible,” she said.
Donations plans are flexible as the number of tanks could grow after co-ordinating with allies' donation and sustainment plans, she said. However, the readiness levels of the Canadian Army are still a factor in how many tanks ultimately go to Europe, as the tanks are being drawn from the Canadian Armed Forces inventory.
IAV 2023: Italy to procure VBA amphibious vehicles for army at end of decade
30 January 2023
by Nicholas Fiorenza
Italy's Directorate of Land Armaments signed a contract with IDV on 22 December 2022 for 36 VBA amphibious armoured vehicles for the Italian Navy. (IDV)
Italy will procure Veicoli Blindati Anfibi (VBA) 8×8 amphibious armoured vehicles for the Italian Army at the end of the decade, Janes learnt at Defence iQ's International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2023 conference, which was held in London from 23 to 26 January.
Italy's Directorate of Land Armaments signed a contract with Iveco Defence Vehicles (IDV) on 22 December 2022 for 36 VBA amphibious armoured vehicles for the Italian Navy's San Marco naval infantry brigade. The VBA contract for the Italian Navy is part of an effort by Italy to replace the service's amphibious vehicles with the aim of improving its sea projection capabilities.
An Italian Army official told Janes on 25 January that his service would procure the VBA in 2028 as an amphibious enabler, with more variants than the Italian Navy's combat vehicle version. The Italian Army's AAV7s that the VBA will replace exist in reconnaissance, command and information, recovery, as well as infantry vehicle variants, according to Janes World Armies.