'Funding boosts New Zealand's military capability'

Wellington, May 17 : Increase in New Zealand's defence budget and cost savings are helping to improve military capability across all three services, Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said Friday.

"In the year to July 2013, the NZDF (New Zealand Defence Force) will deliver 190 million NZ dollars (USD 153.87 million) in savings after achieving 140 million NZ dollars in the year prior," Coleman said in a statement the day after the government delivered its annual budget.

"These savings free up resources to improve the defence force's military capability. The Defense Force budget estimate for 2013 sees increases across a range of military outputs, such as land combat forces, naval patrol and support forces, and fixed wing transport forces," he said.

The funds would be used to move from the back office to the frontline, reported Xinhua.

"There has also been a significant increase to the defence capital budget reflecting the military upgrade projects the government has approved, including the frigate system upgrade, Seasprite helicopter replacements, and new medium and heavy trucks," said the minister.

"This sees the NZDF capital expenditure budget increase from 318 million NZ dollars to 583 million NZ dollars for the financial year," he added.

--IANS (Posted on 17-05-2013)

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