Recommends new long-range artillery battalion in Finnmark
General Eirik Kristoffersen pointed to the dramatic changes in the security landscape amid Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine when he urges the Norwegian Government to add another 8 billion kroner (€680 million) annually to the defense budget for the years 2025 to 2031.
First priority is to strengthen already approved investments in long-range precision weapons to make a fully-fledged rocket artillery battalion with the Army’s brigade in Troms.
Then, a new dedicated long-range artillery battalion should be established as part of Finnmark Land Command based at Porsangermoen, a few kilometers north of Lakselv.
The Garrison of Sør-Varanger, near Kirkenes, is an integrated part of Finnmark Land Defense with the border guards and a ranger company. Focusing on invasion defense, the ranger company operates along Norway’s border with Russia.
The Chief of Defense also wants a multi-layered air defense system for the land forces, including the Brigade North in Troms and Finnmark Land Command at Porsangermoen.
“The Armed Forces lack any capability to provide protection against ballistic missiles. The ability to protect against smaller unmanned systems and drones is marginal,” the report with military advice from the Chief of Defense reads.
The advice was formally handed over to Norway’s Minister of Defense on Wednesday.
Finnmark should be further strengthened by equipping the armed forces with capabilities to gather intelligence to assist in combat roles and other operational duties (ISTAR). It should be added engineering resources and one light infantry battalion with amphibious mobility.
“The Finnmark land command will thereby constitute a tactical system on brigade level, which contributes to increased presence and operational capability in the High North, and with new capability for operations in coastal areas,” the recommendations say.