Ireland’s defense forces will spend 566 million euros ($639 million) on new military equipment over the next three years, The Irish Sun reported on Tuesday.
Two C-295 maritime patrol planes costing 276 million euros ($311.5 million) will arrive in the country next year as part of the multimillion-dollar defense investment.
Replacing the Casa 235, the two aircraft will assist the Irish Air Force in conducting patrols and surveillance in the country’s maritime territory to track drug smugglers and monitor foreign warships.
Ireland will also procure a new multi-role vessel to replace the flagship LE Eithne – a move considered “an important element” of the military’s equipment development plan.
In addition to purchasing a new warship, the country plans to upgrade its LE Niamh offshore patrol vessel and replace other outdated ships.
A soon-to-be-submitted draft report of the Irish military’s future states that the country’s defense forces are not prepared to defend against an outside attack. The Commission on the Defence Forces is expected to recommend strengthening Ireland’s radar surveillance capability as one measure to enhance the country’s preparedness.
The defense department will also spend 141 million euros ($159 million) this year on various projects, including upgrading the army’s fleet of 80 armored personnel carriers, buying an additional 30 armored military vehicles, and purchasing next-generation radio communications and signal equipment.
Additionally, the country will prioritize the hiring of general service recruits, cadets, air force apprentices, and aircraft technicians.