Norway leads the way for stronger defense

Government buys ammunition for NOK 2.6 billion

Photo: Geir Olsen / NTB
CEO of Nammo Morten Brandtzæg in the production hall where they produce ammunition.

NTB

The Norwegian government wants to buy artillery ammunition for NOK 2.6 billion from Nammo, providing Nammo with production guarantees and maintaining support for Ukraine.

The announcement was made by Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Center Party) and Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram (Center Party) at Raufoss on Jan. 13.

“It’s a new security situation. There is a war in Europe, and [the need for] preparedness is increased. This generates a great need for military equipment, because countries need to increase their own preparedness and because Ukraine needs equipment,” said Gram.

The war in Ukraine has created a great need for production of ammunition, and companies have asked for production guarantees.

Denies U-turn

The reasoning is that companies do not want to scale up production sharply now only to be left without customers if the war ends soon. Nammo has requested such a guarantee.

“It is the biggest contract to come to Nammo ever,” said CEO Morten Brandtzæg.

At the press conference, the government denied that they had taken a U-turn, since they said no to Nammo’s request for NOK 650 million last fall.

“When we are going to spend large amounts like we are doing now, we have to do it in a way that makes us get the most out of that money. Here we get both: We get artillery ammunition while building industry,” said Vedum.

The Nammo manager said that the contract is so large that large parts of their investment needs can be covered.

National preparedness and Ukraine support

Experts have pointed out that the outcome of the war may be determined by whether it is the West or Russia that can most quickly increase the production of weapons and ammunition.

“The war in Ukraine has created a great need for ammunition, and Norwegian Nammo plays a significant role for NATO countries and in Western ammunition production,” said Vedum.

“With this contract, the government is contributing both to national military preparedness and to facilitating the maintenance of Western support for Ukraine by strengthening our own weapons production,” said Vedum.

War of attrition

The contract must be approved by the Norwegian parliament.

Norway is among the countries that have provided artillery ammunition to Ukraine.

“This order means that we are speeding up ammunition orders for our national defense. It will help us build up our emergency stocks faster and at the same time give the Norwegian company Nammo better predictability to be able to make further investments in production capacity,” said Gram.

Can increase capacity

“We have had a good dialogue with Nammo about how the authorities can contribute to increasing production. It is absolutely essential that this happens quickly, and in the special situation we find ourselves in, we must be solution-oriented,” said the minister of defense.

Nammo is headquartered in Raufoss and has 2,700 employees in 11 countries.

“We are very pleased that the government is now proposing to acquire ammunition from Nammo in the order of NOK 2.6 billion. This gives us the opportunity to increase our production capacity and the necessary security to place orders with our subcontractors to ensure future deliveries,” said Brandtzæg.

Stoltenberg on Nammo contract

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg is happy with the Norwegian government’s multibillion-kroner agreement with the ammunition producer Nammo.

This article originally appeared in the February 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway