Spain plans to spend $8 billion on military hardware upgrade

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s government has announced a plan to spend 7.3 billion euros ($8.2 billion) over the next 10 years on improving its military defense capabilities.

Defense Minister Margarita Robles said Friday the money will be used to build five new navy frigates and, in a first phase, develop and build 348 new armored personnel carriers. It will also enable the latest technological upgrades to be installed in its fleet of 69 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.

Robles says the spending, which is an addition to the defense budget, will help create more than 7,000 jobs in areas of high unemployment.

Spain’s six-month-old minority government is keen to build a track record of accomplishments before it faces an election, possibly as early as next year.

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