Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Departmental Funding

Photo of Neale RichmondNeale Richmond (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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113. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the level of capital funding for the upgrade and modernisation of military equipment with a focus on the funding provided in Budget 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56190/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The White Paper on Defence (2015) and the 2019 White Paper update, highlighted the importance of capability development and the necessity for continued renewal, upgrade and acquisition of defence military equipment and infrastructure.

As part of Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan (NDP) set out the Government’s overarching investment strategy and capital budget for the period 2021-2030. In this context, the National Development Plan allocated multi-annual capital funding of €566 million to the Department of Defence out to 2025, with an allocation of €141 million provided for 2022.

Many of the defence equipment projects are complex, multi-annual and have long lead-in times, so the funding certainty provided by the National Development Plan is particularly welcome. This will enable Defence to plan, prioritise and deliver on scheduled projects over the coming years. All suitable Defence Programmes/Projects, are considered as part of an internal Civil Military equipment development and infrastructure planning prioritisation process at the relevant time in the context of the prevailing capital envelope provided by the National Development Plan.

Among the major Defence Equipment upgrade and replacement programmes set to be prioritised over the coming years are:

- The Land Forces Capability Development and Force Protection Programmes, including an upgrade of the military transport fleet and next generation radio communications and signal equipment;

- The ongoing Naval Service Vessel Renewal and Replacement Programme, which includes the mid-life refit of the P50 Class of Naval Vessel and the progression of the Multi Role Vessel project;

- The ongoing Air Corps Aircraft Renewal and Replacement Programme which includes the purchase of the C295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

This funding will also enable a significant number of Defence infrastructural projects to advance under the Defence Forces Built Infrastructure Programme, including the:

- Provision of a new Cadet School in DFTC, Curragh Co Kildare;

- Provision of a New Military Medical Facility for the Defence Forces at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Co. Dublin;

- Upgrades to accommodation facilities in various military locations throughout the country such as Collins Barracks, Cork, McKee Barracks, Dublin and the Naval Base, Haulbowline.

The capital investment provided for the Defence Sector in the National Development Plan emphasises the importance attached by the Government to ensuring that the Defence Forces have the necessary capabilities to deliver on the roles assigned by Government.

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