PARIS — France will lift its 2017 defense equipment spending by €300 million (US $337 million), bringing the total for acquisition of military materiel to €17.3 billion, said Ministry of Defense spokeswoman Valérie Lecasble on Thursday.
The total 2017 defense budget will rise to €32.7 billion, excluding pensions, she told journalists. That compares to the 2016 defense budget of €32 billion, with €17 billion for procurement.
Of the total budget, €11.4 billion will pay salaries.
An extra €300 million for procurement is half of the €600 million increase in the 2017 defense budget previously announced by President Francois Hollande.
Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to set out the budget in detail to the lower house of the National Assembly on Oct. 4.
That breakdown on the planned defense budget followed the 2017 national budget set out Sept. 28 by the Finance Minister Michel Sapin. Defense is the second-largest domestic expenditure after education.
France seeks to cut its national deficit — to 2.7 percent of gross domestic product from 3.3 percent — under a cost-cutting plan set out by the Ministry of Finance. Paris has long lagged behind the 3 percent limit set by the European Union.
Hollande announced the extra €600 million for the 2017 defense budget at a July 13 garden party for the military ahead of the following day's Bastille Day national parade along the Champs Elysées.