Estonia to choose medium-range air defence system in the coming weeks

By Defence Industry Europe

The medium-range air defence procurement is currently underway. Six bidders have made it into the second round, and decision will be made by spring, said Priit Soosaar, communications and radar category manager at the Procurement Department of the Estonian Center for Defense Investments (ECDI).

Estonia soon will select the medium-range air defence system. The order will be implemented in close cooperation with Latvia.

In June 2022, Estonia and Latvia signed a joint procurement agreement for medium-range air defence system.

Currently, neither Estonia nor Latvia have their own medium-range air defence capabilities. Estonian Defence Forces are armed with Mistral very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) system and post-Soviet ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns. In addition, in September 2022, Estonia signed a contract for Piorun MANPADs produced by Polish defence industry. The first batch of Piorun systems is to be delivered in the second half of this year.

In September 2022, Estonian minister of defence Hanno Pevkur said that Estonia will sign the contract in the first quarter of 2023 at the latest. He also stressed that the purchase plan assumes that the first unit will go to Estonia in 2024 and will reach operational readiness in 2025. The entire medium-range air defence system acquisition programme will be completed by 2027.

“The mid-range air defence capabilities will include the air defence missile system, radars and command centres, as well as a multitude of other components. This is a mobile missile system, which will allow destroying airborne attackers from at least 30 kilometres away,” explained Priit Soosaar, the ECDI communications and radar category manager in September 2022.

Quoted by the website of Estonian broadcaster EER, Priit Soosaar recently said that six bidders have advanced to the second round of tender and that decision will be made this spring.

“No country is excluded from the procurement, with certain exceptions such as Russia, Belarus and North Korea, as we’re acquiring the most economically advantageous and technically capable system in the market situation,” he said.

“This system is being acquired for the defense of the Estonian state, due to which the decision will not be impacted by how easy it would be to obtain authorization for the re-export of the system,” emphasized Priit Soosaar.

According to earlier reports, the Estonian Ministry of Defence has been in talks with international defence companies from Norway/USA, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Israel and South Korea.




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