Spain plans to spend $8 billion on military hardware upgrade

FeaturesAssociated Press

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.

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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.