Consultations are under way to develop a military medicine project in Luxembourg, to help meet a critical need within Nato and the EU.
Responding to a question from Delano, the army press office explained earlier in August that each deployment must ensure medical protection, from a simple level of medical support to the deployment of a fully equipped field hospital.
The solutions being considered would be based around three pillars: infectious diseases, surgery and a defence medical crisis centre.
“One option envisaged would be to set up specialised deployable teams of medical and paramedical staff, provide the necessary equipment for their mission and create a structure backed up by a Luxembourg hospital,” the press officer explained.
The consultation comes as Luxembourg faces increasing pressure to meet its goal to invest 2% of GDP in defence. The last figure placed investment at around 0.4% while US president Donald Trump is calling for member states to further increase contributions to 4%.
On 27 July 2018, Luxembourg defence minister Étienne Schneider announced the order of two Airbus H145M multi-role helicopters by the defence department for use by the police and military. These will be the only military helicopters held in Luxembourg when they enter into service in 2020.
“The acquisition of the two helicopters is part of the implementation of Luxembourg's Defence Policy Guidelines for 2025 and beyond, and more particularly, the development of an air component within the Luxembourg Army,” the army press officer told Delano.
The purchase of helicopters alone amounts to €23.1 million, plus a further €900,000 for support tools and services.
It complements the existing purely land-based army fleet, which is illustrated in the datavisualisation below. The army press officer did not rule out future fleet acquisitions as part of the defence 2025+ strategy, saying that “several key defence procurement programmes were being conducted or were envisaged in the near future at national level and in cooperation with regional partners,” to modernise the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and air components within the Luxembourg army.
Other ways for Luxembourg to optimise defence spending are centred around the launch of a second GovSat earth observation satellite, a national advanced optical system, taking high resolution photos of earth, announced on 26 July 2018. The plan is to use it in operation zones or areas of defence interest, giving a value added for Nato and European defence.