This is what happens when the social welfare industry swallows yet more of the national budget.
The Uusimaa minelayer is one of three ships the military will need to replace in the next decade. Along with three missile cutters also due to be decommissioned, the bill for new boats could top a billion euros, but will be hundreds of millions in any case.
Extensive redundancies and garrison closures have cut the military budget, but the annual budget still contains 450 million euros for procurement in 2014 and 2015. The army says this isn’t enough: it claims it will need at least 550 million euros each year by 2020 to ensure it has the tools to defend Finland.
The air force is currently in the midst of a renewal of its Hornet jets that is expected to come in at around one billion euros, and by 2020 it will be looking to replace current generation of fighter jets.
‘Stuck in the analogue age’
Ground forces are also looking to spend big, with 100 tanks set for use by elite forces just ordered by the army. A new communications system is also on the army’s shopping list, as that currently in use is stuck in the analogue age.
“It’s almost like comparing old, NMT mobiles to modern smartphones,” says the army’s operations director Petri Hulkko. “We are still in the NMT-era, and in the modern world that won’t do.”