Europe

Switzerland to Spend $2.5 Billion in Military Upgrades

Switzerland is investing 2.1 billion euros ($2.5 billion) to provide its armed forces with modern weapons, equipment, and training to strengthen its national defense.

The lower house of the Federal Assembly recently approved the budget, which allocates 235 million euros ($284 million) for the purchase of command and communication systems and 390 million euros ($472 million) for new combat vehicles and trailers.

Switzerland also plans a 110 million-euro ($133 million) acquisition of nuclear, biological, and chemical protection systems, while 47 million euros ($56 million) are being invested in simulators.

Around 707 million euros ($857 million) has been allotted to purchase personal equipment for soldiers, ammunition, and cyber and IT systems. The Swiss Air Force will also acquire new logistics, training, and command infrastructures worth 575 million euros ($697 million).

A Swiss Air Force F-18 is seen in front of a church on Feb. 20, 2013, at Payerne airport.
A Swiss Air Force F-18 is seen in front of a church on Feb. 20, 2013, at Payerne airport. Photo: Fabrice Croffrini/AFP

‘More Women in Military’

In March, the Swiss government also revealed that it wants more women to join the country’s armed forces.

Only 0.9 percent of Switzerland’s military personnel are female. The government is seeking to increase this ratio to at least 10 percent by 2030. An in-depth study of women in the army has already been commissioned to support this goal.

Creating a designated service especially for women is also being proposed to increase female participation in the country’s military.

Explaining one rationale for the drive to recruit more women, army head Thomas Süssli stated: “In our experience, women in the military are especially motivated and involved. They often bring fresh ways of thinking.”

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