Army calls for increased funding for artillery and early implementation of the PML

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The Chief of Staff of the Army (CEME) today warned of the need to “reinforce funds” and “anticipate the implementation” of the provisions of the Military Programming Law (LPM) in the Artillery sector in view of commitments to NATO and the international situation.

“We have plans to renew some of our equipment and acquire other equipment for the Field Artillery. These are programs that need to be reinforced in the LPM, and also, most likely, their implementation will need to be brought forward, given the urgency of renewing our capacity,” General Mendes Ferrão told Lusa today at the Santa Margarida Military Camp (Santarém) on the sidelines of the ‘Strong Impact’ exercise, in a NATO scenario, involving 451 military personnel from four countries.

According to the general, who recalled the war in Ukraine and current preparedness needs, “the same is also true” of anti-aircraft artillery and unmanned aerial systems (drones).

“In fact, we need to renew our anti-aircraft artillery. It’s provided for in the military programming law, and we’ll have our anti-aircraft artillery renewed before too long, but both of these capabilities need to be further reinforced in terms of funds and their implementation brought forward in terms of the Military Programming Law,” he said.

Also in the case of unmanned aerial systems, he said, “there are specific projects in the Military Programming Law that will allow us to renew and increase the number of systems (…), not only in the surveillance component, but also in other types of unmanned aerial systems that we are acquiring”.

The overall investment planned in the LPM for the Army, in the case of Artillery, with different deadlines, some of which until 2034, is around 120 million euros (ME), with Field Artillery having an allocation of 77.5 ME for “extending the useful life of weapons systems” with “modernization” and “replacement” of various types of shells, an official Army source told Lusa.

In the PML, according to the same source, anti-aircraft artillery has an overall investment of 32 million euros and unmanned aerial and ground systems (drones) of 6 million euros, with 3.1 million euros allocated to the command and control system.

“The programs we have set out in the Military Programming Law are the ones we believe are necessary and sufficient to renew the Army’s capabilities in the face of the demands of this new conflict,” said the CEME, noting that, “however, given the time we are observing, many of these projects need to be accelerated in their execution.”

The annual ‘Strong Impact’ exercise, taking place between March 11 and 21, had a real fires session today, covering all the weapons systems that are part of the exercise, as well as the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones).

The exercise involves 451 soldiers from Portugal, Spain, France and Romania and aims to “develop the operational capacity of the Army’s Field Artillery and Anti-Aircraft Artillery Units, including forces from friendly countries”, with General Ferrão highlighting the importance of military “interoperability”.

(…) Today, in this current conflict we’re witnessing in Ukraine, which is the result of Russia’s invasion, the fires function, field artillery fires, has taken on added importance and that’s why we’re training field artillery fires in this exercise, but we’re also doing it in a multinational environment, because we know perfectly well that we’re members of NATO and it’s essential that we know how to work with our allies to achieve what we militarily call having the necessary interoperability. In other words, if we have to fight together, we are prepared and we know how to do it,” said the CEME.

Mendes Ferrão also highlighted the “increased relevance of anti-aircraft protection in theaters of operations”, with the exercise including the “protection of artillery assets”, and the use of unmanned aerial systems in current conflicts.

“We already had this capacity acquired before this conflict in Ukraine and now we are improving its use, also with the lessons we are learning from the conflicts we are observing,” he concluded.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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