The deployment of the Spanish NASAMS air defence system was agreed upon by the Estonian and Spanish defence ministers during the meeting in Brussels on January 14.
Muchas gracias! Estonian DefMin @HPevkur and Spanish DefMin Margarita Robles agreed that Spain 🇪🇸 will deploy a #NASAMS air defence system to Estonia 🇪🇪 in April for a period of four months. #WeAreNATO #StrongerTogether
— MoD Estonia (@MoD_Estonia) February 14, 2023
According to the Estonian Ministry of Defence, the objective of the NASAMS unit in Estonia will be the defence of the Ämari Air Base, a strategic object. The unit is combat-ready and will be deployed to Estonia on the command of the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). A similar unit has been deployed to Latvia, the two systems will be linked and will be part of NATO’s Eastern flank air and missile defence.
“The Eastern flank of NATO has grown its muscle significantly over the past year. Considering the need to fill this critical gap in our medium-range air defence capabilities, I am very glad that we reached an agreement with Spain on the deployment of their NASAMS medium-range ground-based air defence system for four months, starting this April,” said Estonian Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur.
“This is a short-term solution, however, we are already preparing a more sustainable solution. To that end, with Latvia and Lithuania, we made a proposal in NATO to establish an air defence rotation model, similarly to the Baltic Air Policing mission currently in place. Therefore, hopefully, subsequent rotations in cooperation with Allies will also become possible,” he added.
Estonian Minister of Defence Hanno Perkur also stressed that it is also very important that thanks to the deployment of the NASAMS unit in Estonia, the Estonian Defence Forces will learn the tactical specifics of a medium-range air defence system.
“In addition, it will give our Defence Forces and Air Force the experience of integrating a medium-range air defence system with other defence systems,” said Pevkur.
As Defence Industry Europe reported, the procurement of Estonia’s own medium-range air defence system is in the final stages. The Estonian Ministry of Defence underlined that the aim is to finalise a contract “before summer”.