The Norwegian defence industry’s reputation for technological expertise and quality combined with the highest of ethics is a valuable tool in helping Norwegian industry gain access to an increasing number of foreign markets.
Defence & industry – Working towards common goals
by Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen
The Norwegian Minister of Defence
According to Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, “It is the Government’s recommendation that the Armed Forces should be strengthened, both over the forthcoming four-year period and thereafter. This is a plan for building up the Armed Forces, not cutting them back.”
What security challenges do we face in 2008 and in the future? And how will these affect the shaping of our defence and security policy? A balanced and prepared Armed Forces is a top priority for the Norwegian Government, signaled by our plan to increase the overall defence budget by nearly NOK 800 million.
The Norwegian defence industry will continue to benefit from the short and long -erm strategies of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, strategies that call for a budget increase that will allow strategic investments in the country’s northern regions while at the same time maintaining sound national defence in addition to providing international support according to treaties and agreements.
At the same time, the emphasis on a continued strengthening of investment, Research & Development, and manufacturing within the defence industry is in focus with an ongoing effort to increase Norwegian industry’s access to foreign markets. The guiding document in this process is the White Paper (St.meld. nr. 38 (2006 – 2007)) “The Armed Forces and Industry – strategic partners”, providing incentives and facilitating the continued development of a strong relationship between defence and industry. At the same time, and most importantly from a defence perspective, the mechanisms that will ensure the ongoing Armed Forces access to competence, materiel, services – and solutions are in place.
Strength at Home – Support Abroad
The Norwegian Government takes Norway’s international responsibilities very seriously. The UN and NATO are the bedrock on which Norway’s security policy is based. We will continue to make substantial contributions to international operations.
This international support is balanced with the ongoing emphasis on military strength and preparedness on a national level. This emphasis is well-coordinated with the long-term planning to bring into focus the strengthening of the northern areas, addressing the tasks and challenges that are faced in the sea areas outside of the Norwegian coastline, and at the same time enhancing the national armed forces in general:
• Strengthening of the Army, increasing numbers as well as increasing preparation and training for operations
• Enhancing the operational capabilities of the Navy by commissioning new helicopter-equipped frigates and MTB, also continuing to give priority to the Coast Guard
• A stronger Air Force will be the result as a new transport aircraft is phased in and helicopter facilities are consolidated
• Manpower numbers will be increased
The Norwegian Coast Guard is one area of priority for the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.
Transparency & Social Responsibility
Transparency, social responsibility and the highest of ethics are the key words in any business, but especially within the Norwegian defence industry. It was with this in mind that the Norwegian Ministry of Defence developed and issued the “Ethical Guidelines”. In the interest of the defence sector’s reputation in society and the general trust of the population on which we rely, it is essential that these guidelines be complied with.
The Norwegian defence industry’s reputation for technological expertise and quality combined with the highest of ethics is a valuable tool in helping Norwegian industry gain access to an increasing number of foreign markets. This combined with the Norwegian Defence Industry’s emphasis on offset agreements as well as the building of military strength is continuing to build valuable synergies both nationally and internationally.
FORGING CLOSE COOPERATION
by Torbjørn Svensgård
In the increasingly global defence and security industries, the demands for quality and excellence of service are high. In Norway, this is taken very seriously, and the Norwegian Defence and Security Industries Association (FSi) is the member organization that works with its more than 100 members in helping them to best serve society through protection.
The value of the industry being able to speak through one voice cannot be underestimated. A large portion of technology and solutions currently referred to as “defence technology” are actually applicable also to the area of homeland security – in many cases without modifications. On this basis, FSi’s basic focus is broadened in scope beyond that of a mere defence and security industry association.
FSi’s members represent the broad spectre of expertise and experience in the industry, working with all its members to present what the Norwegian security and defence industry has to offer, also working in close cooperation with the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence.
Close Cooperation & Highly Skilled
Through decades of close cooperation with the Norwegian Armed Forces, NATO bodies and a strong link to the international defence industry, FSi´s members have played a key role in helping the Norwegian military develop leading capabilities in select fields within a NATO context. Its members have also been highly successful in applying these technologies, skills and competences to the civil marketplace. Thus “dual use” is another shared quality represented by FSi members.
FSi member companies represent a combined total of more than 25,000 highly skilled employees. The turnover in defence is estimated at NOK 9.5 billion per year, of which approximately NOK 4 billion is exported. Approximately 85% of our member companies are, by Norwegian standards, SMEs. Many of these companies are becoming known outside Norway, joining the major Norwegian defence companies already making an impressive mark internationally. FSi and the Norwegian defence industry continue to work towards continuing this positive trend.
FSi member companies, in addition to concentration on upcoming and future defence and security investments, will turn their efforts towards considerable investments expected within the police forces, costal and harbour surveillance, air and airport security and security solutions for oil and hydroelectric infrastructure. Technology is in focus – technological measures to prevent and protect against terrorist attacks, technologies that can monitor potential natural catastrophes, technologies applied against organized crime, control systems for monitoring critical public infrastructure such as power networks, etc.
In the modern world, the notion of homeland security now is under the same umbrella, at least from an organizational and industrial point of view. FSi is the organization working with it members to improve support to this wide spectre of society, both in Norway as well as internationally.