06 Apr 15
Montenegro Army Out of Date, Report Warns
Although Montenegro is close to joining NATO, the country’s army relies on outdated combat equipment and lacks the money to modernize, a report says.
The latest annual report on the Montenegrin Armed Forces has revealed serious shortcomings, including a lack of modern equipment and weapons and unbalanced age and professional structure.
The army inherited the bulk of its equipment from the former Yugoslavia, most of which is now outdated and unsuitable and does not meet NATO requirements, the report notes.
In 2014, of the 25 million euro annual military budget, only 5.3 million euro was spent on modernization, the report adds.
“The funds allocated for equipping and modernization do not allow for the development of capabilities that would ensure the implementation of assigned tasks,” the report says.
There is a lack of multi-purpose helicopters and modern radar for air surveillance and the navy uses outdated combat equipment and ships.
The military also do not meet NATO standards in terms of the size and age structure of the soldiers.
As a candidate for membership of the Western alliance since 2009, the country is obliged to organise and structure its armed forces according to set principles.
The report notes that the peacetime size of the armed forces is 2,000 troops, which is deemed “in line with the needs and capabilities” of the small country.
However, only 13.8 per cent of the staff are officers, which is not in line with the best practices of developed countries, the report claims.
The ratio of officers to staff needs to be around 22 per cent. The average age of officers is also 39, compared to around 29 in most NATO countries.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)