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Defence Minister of Estonia: in next four years we´ll focus on weapons and ammunition procurement

5. June 2024 - 11:00
The Ministry of Defence’s new development plan for 2025-2028 focuses on the procurement of weapons and ammunition.
The Ministry of Defence’s new development plan for 2025-2028 focuses on the procurement of weapons and ammunition.

The Ministry of Defence’s new development plan for 2025-2028 focuses on the procurement of weapons and ammunition. The new development plan envisages spending 5.3 billion euros, at least 1.55 billion of which will be invested in ammunition procurement – about half a billion more than stipulated in the previous development plan.

“Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine coupled with its ability to replenish lost materiel shows that we need to focus even more on the resilience of our troops and replenish both our weapons and ammunition stockpiles, as well as continue to support Ukraine. Ammunition stocks need to be replenished on a continuous basis, and although we have channelled funds for internal restructuring into ammunition procurement, we must continue to look for ways to procure also additional ammunition,” said Minister of Defence of Estonia Hanno Pevkur, adding that Estonia is ready to provide long-term military aid to Ukraine, with a planned allocation of 0.25% of our GDP per year.

In the process of compiling the new Ministry of Defence’s development plan, the choices made in the ten-year national defence development plan were reviewed and it was decided to focus primarily on weapons, ammunition and the accompanying infrastructure in the coming years.

“We have drawn the necessary conclusions from the war in Ukraine and we see that we need to supplement the ammunition stockpiles, especially for tank and anti-aircraft weapons,” Pevkur added.

During the development plan implementation period, the indirect fire capability will be increased, and a third mobile artillery battalion will be created in direct subordination to the Division. For improved mobility, the artillery guns will be mounted on wheeled platforms.

An ISTAR reconnaissance battalion will also be created within the Division, bringing together intelligence assets operating throughout Estonia into a single system to ensure better situational awareness. This, in turn, will allow manoeuvre and support units to be deployed more sparingly and efficiently, maintaining battlefield initiative.

Implementation of the major capability improvements decided in the previous development plan, such as HIMARS missile launchers, medium-range air defence systems, aerial offensive weapons and mechanised manoeuvre units, will continue.

The Baltic Defence Line is being established to defend Estonia from the first inch. In the current war, defensive lines have proven to be particularly effective in stopping aggressor attacks.

An Allied brigade exercise will be organised in 2025 to test our Allies’ ability to deploy additional units to Estonia and Estonia`s ability to receive them.

An aerial support operations centre will be established at the divisional headquarters to coordinate air asset support for ground units, and conditions will be created to ensure prompt relocation of the Defence Forces’ stationary command posts. Funds will be allocated to purchase vehicles and IT equipment.

The total earmarked support for the Defence League for the 2025-2028 period amounts to 239 million euros, plus 109 million euros for purchases aimed at equipping ground defence units. Unmanned aerial vehicles will be procured for the Defence League to support ground defence training, and the construction of infrastructure installations for the Defence League will continue at a cost of 2 million euros. The manning of ground defence units and the formation of units during training exercises, as well as the preparation and support of comprehensive national defence efforts, will continue.

Further exercises will be organised to keep as many reservists as possible trained to a high level.

The new Ministry of Defence’s development plan describes the development objectives of military defence of the state and the resources required to achieve them, which are determined on the basis of the national defence development plan, military advice of the Commander of the Defence Forces and NATO force objectives.

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