Chancellor Angela Merkel announced plans on Monday to slash German federal spending by 80 billion euros (95 million dollars) over several years, including “significant” changes to the armed forces.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who leads the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the coalition government, said the cuts next year alone would total 11.1 billion euros.

Further cuts would follow in the next three years, rising to 17.1 billion euros in 2012, 25.7 billion in 2013 and 32.4 billion in 2014.

During a two—day special session at Ms. Merkel’s office, cabinet ministers had debated major cuts in welfare spending as well as plans to raise new revenue by taxing nuclear power.

Ms. Merkel did not detail the defence changes immediately, but said they would not be minor ones.