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[Ministry of National Defense] Ministry to invest 315 trillion won over five years to build a military force based on high-tech ...

Unveils 2022-2026 mid-term defense plan

Fostering elite forces - from a troop strength-intensive structure to a  technology-intensive structure
Reduction of two corps and two divisions; officers to be expanded to 40.5 percent
‘Digital, Smart Strong Forces’ based on the Korean New Deal program

Unveils 2022-2026 mid-term defense plan

Over the next five years, a defense budget of 315 trillion and 200 billion won will be invested in achieving the military’s future goals.

On September 2, the Ministry of National Defense unveiled the ‘2022-2026 mid-term defense plan,’ which contains a plan to build, operate, and maintain military strength for the next five years. The ministry plans to actively respond to changes in external and internal conditions after its successful completion of the Defense Reform 2.0 initiative based on this plan.

“We have established the 2022-2026 mid-term defense plan with the goal of achieving ‘Strong Security, Proud Military, Cooperative Defense.’ We will continue to improve defense strength and strengthen force operations by investing a total of 315 trillion and 200 billion won (average annual increase of 5.8 percent) over the five years,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

The mid-term defense plan has been prepared every year since 1980. The plan aims to allocate spending on a per-year and per-project basis by conducting a comprehensive review of spending on building, operating, and maintaining military strength for five years, in consideration of the external and internal defense environment and national finances.

For this mid-term defense plan, 315 trillion and 200 billion won has been earmarked, which is an increase of 14 trillion and 500 billion won compared to the plan for 2021-2025 established last year.  Spending to improve defense strength is 106 trillion and 700 billion won, while spending on improved force operation is 208 trillion and 500 billion won, an increase of 6 trillion and 600 billion won and of 7 trillion and 700 billion won, respectively. 

Significantly, the ministry put a higher weight on spending to improve defense strength, increasing it from 32.2 percent of the plan in 2021 to 36.3 percent in 2026, a rise of 4.1 percent, with a focus on fostering military forces based on high-tech science and technology. Based on the budget, the ministry decided to add a number of new programs, including research on geostationary orbit satellite infrared ray (IR) payload (20.8 billion won), mission control technology for multiplex unmanned marine systems (14.7 billion won), and dual mode ramjet (40.4 billion won). The ministry also plans to expand its investment in developing high-tech defense science and technology, including control, electronics, platform and structures.

Regarding the troop program, the fostering of elite forces will be promoted by reforming the manpower and troops structure from a troop strength-intensive structure to a technology-intensive structure focused on high-tech weapons. To accomplish this, the ministry will reduce two corps and two divisions of the Army by 2026, and will expand the number of military officials to 202,000, amounting to 40.5 percent of the standing troop strength. The ministry will also increase the number of civilian employees, including civilian workers in the military, to 62,000, in non-battle areas such as maintenance, supply, administration, and education.

Force operation will be pushed with a focus on strengthening defense capability to lead the future and the productive aspects of military service. The military decided to push forward in its pursuit of reasonable compensation for military service, while expanding investment in defense research & development (R&D) and in strengthening the capability of the defense industry. Significantly, the ministry plans to raise trust by improving every aspect of the barracks environment, including food, clothing, and shelter, considering the perspectives of both the public and soldiers. The ministry also plans to realize its goal of ‘Digital Strong Forces, Smart Strong Forces’ by actively applying the ‘Korean New Deal’ to the defense area. 

“This 2022-2026 mid-term defense plan reflects essential spending to actively respond to changes in external and internal conditions, as well as the successful accomplishment of the Defense Reform 2.0 initiative. The ministry will continue to cooperate with the finance authorities so that the plan can go smoothly,” the ministry said in a statement.

임채무 By Chae-Mu, Im < >

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