The National Development Plan provides for an overall capital allocation of €541m for Defence for the period 2018 to 2022, including an allocation of €106m for 2019, as confirmed in the recent Budget. This capital funding will allow the Defence Organisation to undertake a programme of sustained equipment replacement and infrastructure development as identified in the White Paper, over the lifetime of the Plan.
The following major projects are being progressed during 2019:-
- Mid-life upgrade of the Mowag Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) fleet;
- Procurement of Fixed Wing Utility aircraft (Pilatus) as replacement for Cessna aircraft;
- Procurement of replacements for the two CASA 235 Maritime Patrol aircraft;
- Mid-life refit of the Naval Service vessels LÉ Niamh and LÉ Róisín and ongoing planning for the acquisition of a multi-role vessel;
- Virtual Desktop Architecture (VDA) project for Defence Forces IT infrastructure;
- Investment in the Defence Forces built infrastructure, including the following specific projects -
- Secure storage facilities in the Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh Camp;
- Target range facilities in the Defence Forces Training Centre;
- Training facilities in Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick and Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny;
- Accommodation facilities in the Defence Forces Training Centre and Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin;
- Accommodation upgrade in Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel;
- Catering facilities in Custume Barracks, Athlone;
- Fuel storage safety system upgrade in the Naval Base, Haulbowline.
These projects are multi annual and precise expenditure timeframes are not finalised. Accordingly, the Department is not in a position to provide a more detailed breakdown of the 2019 allocation. However, I am satisfied that the capital allocation for Defence for 2019 and for the period to 2022 will allow the Defence Organisation to undertake a programme of sustained equipment replacement and infrastructural development as identified and prioritised in the White Paper.