900 million euros for the modernization of the army in the next 10 years


For the modernization of the army in the next ten years, the state plans to spend around 900 million euros, money intended for the purchase, adaptation and equipping of the army with the most sophisticated western weapons in order to have its successful and quality integration into NATO structures. The modernization will take place in several stages, and a large part of the funds planned for its upgrade will be provided through our strategic partnership with the United States, but also with the other member countries of the Alliance.

Helicopters, armored combat vehicles and modern anti-aircraft defense systems will be procured, as well as various infantry weapons. Through this development "long-term plan 2022-2023" the modernization and equipping of the army will be carried out, which will continuously change the face of the army and increase its combat readiness, stated the Minister of Defense Slavjanka Petrovska at today's a press briefing held at the Ilinden barracks and organized by the Ministry of Defense.

- One of the priority processes to which we as a minister, as a ministry and as the General Staff of the Army are fully committed and proud is the process of modernization and equipping of the Army. One third of the defense budget, which this year amounts to a record 275 million euros, is intended for modernization. It is an undoubted guarantee that there will be no stoppage in the modernization and that everything that was planned is realized, the modernization about which you were informed in detail by both the Chief of the General Staff and the Director of the General Staff, includes several multi-year projects that completely change the face of the Army. We say that the Army is in NATO, but NATO with its standards, the most modern and sophisticated equipment enters the Army - emphasized the Minister of Defense Slavjanka Petrovska.

Petrovska pointed out that the projects are truly comprehensive. The army is already in the process of waiting for the rest of the armored vehicles of American origin of the JLTV type. Stryker armored personnel carriers will be purchased as well as the French MISTRAL 3 low-altitude air defense system.

"The army is being transformed, the army is being modernized and equipped with the most sophisticated weaponry, and therefore there is no place in its composition for equipment that was produced in 1984 and which for years has been just a number, and in fact is an expired resource," says Petrovska.

The Chief of the General Staff of the Army, General Vasko Gjurchinovski and Minister Slavjanka Petrovska

The Chief of the General Staff of our army, General Vasko Gjurchinovski, also addressed the media. Brigadier General Simeon Trajkovski also gave a presentation on the details of this process. According to him, the modernization of the Army is proceeding at an accelerated pace.

- Some of the units covered by the modernization have already received combat-ready status according to the NATO categorization, Trajkovski pointed out.

Answering a journalist's question, gen. Gjurchinovski said that an analysis is expected in a few months with an assessment of the needs for the procurement of drones.

- Italy, USA, Germany, France are countries from where our new helicopters will be purchased. We are not alone. The USA will seriously support our country financially in the modernization process, regardless of the choice of the country of origin of the weapons. Therefore, this is a responsible and patriotic decision of our political leadership", said General Gjurchinovski.

On the other hand Gjurchinovski pointed out to the audience that Gthe general staff fully supports the decision on military aid to Ukraine because according to him it is aid to a country that is attacked and needs to be defended, he added. 

Among the most significant purchases is the purchase of 8 Western-made multirole military helicopters, which will replace the 12 Mi-24 helicopters donated to Ukraine, which have been out of service for years. This will be the largest purchase of military equipment since the 2001 conflict.

Regarding the procurement of new helicopters, Minister Petrovska emphasized that so far 5 offers have arrived from the USA, Canada, Italy, Germany and France, after which a decision should be made as to which helicopters will be procured. According to current estimates, they should cost 214 million euros, but given that the prices of military equipment and weapons are rising, by the time the contract is concluded, that price could be even higher.

A large part of these purchases will not be with budget money, but with help from NATO allies, above all from the United States, the Ministry of Defense informed several times.

Otherwise, these investments should be part of the faster integration of the Macedonian army into the Alliance with the aim of better and compatible cooperation with NATO member countries. The Ministry of Defense informed that the donated weaponry for defense against Russian aggression in Ukraine costs between 24 and 30 million euros, and the aid for the modernization of the army from the United States was several times higher this year alone.




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