“When completed, the Norwegian Army will have a fleet of modern tanks and fighting vehicles that are fully network enabled, with increased firepower, mobility and protection. Together with a new mobile air-defense system, the war fighting capabilities of the Norwegian Army will be significantly improved,” the army said in a statement.
The air defense system will be a part of Norway's Artillery Battalion, based in the northern county of Troms. The battalion also participates in NATO’s Response Force.
The Norwegian Army noted that it holds a “special responsibility" within the alliance as "the gatekeepers towards the Arctic.”
The modernized version of the army is set to be operational by 2020, with total investment estimated at approximately $1.7 billion.
Earlier in April, Norwegian Defense Chief Haakon Bruun-Hanssen stated that Russia is a challenge for the Norwegian Army, though Oslo does not currently view Moscow as a threat.
Norway, alongside other NATO states, suspended all military cooperation with Moscow last year following Crimea's reunification with Russia.