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Government set out the text of the draft of Resolution on the overall long-term programme for the development and equipping of the SAF until 2040

At today's meeting, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia set out the text of the draft Resolution on the overall long-term programme for the development and equipping of the Slovenian Armed Forces until 2040 (hereinafter: the Resolution) and sent it to the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia for consideration and adoption.

The Resolution is the highest development directive and long-term planning document, with which the long-term development and equipping of the Slovenian Armed Forces is planned, so that it will be able to perform its statutory tasks, to provide forces and capabilities, and to be ready to pursue national interests, international commitments and defence objectives.

The resolution valid until 2035 was adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia in February 2022. Since its adoption, circumstances have arisen that require taking responsibility for a more ambitious change in the overall long-term framework for the development and establishment of the defence capabilities of the Republic of Slovenia, both in terms of content and timing.

The Resolution has been prepared taking into account the increased unpredictability and uncertainty of the international security environment and the security and defence challenges faced by the Republic of Slovenia, as well as the challenges faced by the Slovenian Armed Forces in developing the necessary capabilities and achieving an adequate level of readiness.

Slovenia ensures its defence by developing an adequate level of its own defence capability and by relying heavily on the collective defence system and mutual assistance of the European Union. The drastic deterioration of the security environment in Europe demonstrates the great importance of a common collective defence in an alliance of which the Republic of Slovenia is a part.

A major emphasis in the resolution is the more ambitious timetable for achieving defence expenditure, which is to reach the level of two per cent of GDP by 2030 at the latest, and then to be maintained at that level at least until 2040. It is foreseen that at least 20% of total defence expenditure will be allocated annually to the procurement of modern military equipment and armaments for the Slovenian Armed Forces, while efforts are also maintained to invest in dual-use equipment and to strengthen the capabilities of the Slovenian Armed Forces, which can also be used to support the protection and rescue system. A significant increase in research, development and innovation is also foreseen, reaching at least 2% of defence expenditure.

The development of the SAF will take place in two development periods until 2040: the first development period covers the years 2023-2030 and the second development period covers the years 2031-2040. The size, structure and organisation of the SAF must be such as to enable it to fulfil its mission and tasks in accordance with the Defence Act and the defined level of ambition. The total peacetime strength of the SAF will be up to 10,000 SAF personnel, with the possibility to increase the strength within the SAF's wartime composition.

The Resolution includes adjustments and additional measures for recruitment and personnel retention. Already in the first development period, the Resolution foresees the adoption of effective measures to accelerate recruitment and personnel retention. Also for the purpose of recruitment, the SAF's links with the local environment, organisations and associations of particular importance for defence and other national security subsystems will be strengthened.

Already in the first development period, the Resolution foresees the transformation and development of the structure of the SAF. It includes the parallel development and establishment of priority capabilities, namely the establishment of a Medium Battalion Battle Group and a Medium Combat Reconnaissance Battalion, whereby we will look for more financially rational ways to develop them, and we will develop the capabilities in a comprehensive manner.

The Slovenian Armed Forces will therefore also develop some more complex capabilities that are not part of the commitments made to NATO, but are important for the realisation of the national security objectives of the Republic of Slovenia. These include the establishment of a medium- and short-range air defence system for the protection of the national airspace and critical infrastructure on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, as well as the direct air defence of elements of the Slovenian Armed Forces' deployment, the development of helicopter capabilities through the strengthening of medium transport helicopter capabilities and the gradual replacement and acquisition of light military helicopters.

The development of SAF capabilities shall reasonably take into account the possibility that they will also support the natural and other disaster protection system or other state bodies.

In the field of military education and training, it is foreseen that in the first development period, in cooperation with the public education system of the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovenian Armed Forces will develop and implement modular education for SAF members at the first and second Bologna levels, subject to annual evaluation. After the first development period, the Ministry of Defence, in cooperation with the co-implementers, will carry out an evaluation and assess whether it is necessary to establish a separate military higher education institution.

During both development periods, the Slovenian Armed Forces, in cooperation with the Slovenian defence industry, will also establish and maintain adequate stocks and reserves of weapons, equipment and ammunition to ensure the long-term durability of its operations. It will modernise the existing and establish new training and training infrastructure, accommodation and deployment facilities, firing ranges and logistic capacities, taking into account the possible increase of the SAF's military size.