Summary of the National Defence Development Plan 2013-2022
The National Peacetime Defence Act defines as basic national defence documents the National Security Concept of Estonia, the National Defence Strategy, National Defence Development Plan, Military Defence Action Plan and the Operational Defence Plan.
The National Defence Development Plan specifies, on the basis of the national defence strategy, the priorities and capability requirements and long-term development programmes for strengthening defensive capability and general resource limitations on developing defensive capability. The National Defence Development Plan shall be established by the Government of the Republic at the proposal of the Minister of Defence for a ten-year period and shall be reviewed once every four years.
This National Defence Development Plan covers the period 2013 - 2022 and replaces the MDDP for 2009-2018. The development objectives set forth in the document shall be specified annually in medium to long range development plans and the national budgetary strategy.
The fundamental principle behind the National Defence Development Plan is to produce concrete military units that are able to respond rapidly when necessary.
With regard to land operations, the main focus during the development plan’s planning period is on establishing rapid-response infantry brigades, developing armoured manoeuvre capability and strengthening anti-tank defences.
The 1st infantry brigade shall be completely equipped and armed and armoured manoeuvre capability shall be developed within the unit; the professional Scoutsbattallion within the brigade will receive modern infantry fighting vehicles; the rest of the brigade’s manoeuvre battalions will be equipped with armoured personnel carriers.
By 2022, the 2nd infantry brigade shall also be established and developed in full, which will significantly increase the Defence Forces’ firepower and rapid-response capability.
The Defence Forces’ anti-tank capability will rise significantly thanks to procurement of the most modern anti-tank missile systems for both brigades.
To ensure mobile and far-ranging covering fire, 155mm self-propelled howitzers shall be procured for the Defence Forces.
In addition to the above, the development plan also sets out the need for heavy armoured manoeuvre capability – tanks – and medium-range air-defence capability. Due to resource limitations, it will be possible to start developing these capabilities by 2022, but not complete the development in full by that year. The decision with regard to exactly when the tank battalion and medium-range air-defence battalion will be ultimately developed will be made during the time of the preparation of the next national defence development plan in 2016.
The security “carpet” covering all of Estonia – the result of territorial defence – will become even a greater priority and a specific instance will be assigned responsibility for territorial defence – the Defence League. This will be the primary military function for the Defence League.
- The efficacious military command of territorial defence (the 15 Defence League districts) in even the most complicated situations will take place through the five territorial defence districts, which will become activated in times of crisis and in the event of war.
- The units belonging to the territorial defence structure shall be equipped and completely armed.
- The voluntary element in national defence shall be supported and the goal is to increase the ranks of the Defence League from the current 22,250 to 30,000 in ten years.
With regard to air operations, the development plan provides for an increase of Estonia’s air defence capability and development of Ämari air base. The Air Force will be completely integrated with NATO’s air and missile defence system and will provide uninterrupted surveillance information for Estonia and all of NATO.
- Additional medium range air surveillance radar systems shall be procured for the air force and the existing ones shall be modernized.
- VThe Air Force command and notification centre shall be developed. It shall be capable to command air force operations as a part of NATO’s integrated air and missile defence system.
- Ämari air base shall achieve the capability of hosting allies’ aircraft, including one NATO air policing rotation per year by 2015.
Development of mine warfare capability shall be continued in the Navy with three mine countermeasure vessels to be modernized, as well as a diver group and one naval auxiliary vessel. The Navy shall continue participation in international military operations and the NATO mine warfare group, thus ensuring, among other things, the frequent presence of NATO’s permanent Mine Countermeasures Group (SNMCMG1) in the Baltic Sea.
The Defence Forces shall achieve the capability of carrying out special operations throughout the country’s territory with short advance notice. Starting in 2012, the special operations unit shall contribute to fulfilment of Estonia’s duties as an ally on foreign operations.
Reconnaissance and early warning shall remain priorities in accordance with the new development plan. In the interim four years, the field has seen strong development, but the ever more complicated security situation and the potentially more rapid development of security threats dictate the need to remain at least a step ahead of developments.
The development plan shall devote special attention to Defence Forces mobilization and support.
- The functions of Estonia military defence mobilization and support shall be concentrated in the Support Command to be created.
- The principal functions of the Support Command will be to lead the process of mobilization and formation of units, logistical support and activities related to Host Nation Support, and to coordinate the field of military education.
The effectiveness of command of military defence shall increase and bureaucracy shall decrease.
- Command of the Defence Forces shall take place from one operation and strategic level staff; the Army Staff and the Defence Forces General Staff shall be merged;
- One staff each shall be retained in the Navy and Air Force; the separate Air Base, Air Surveillance Wing, Mine Countermeasures Squadron and the Naval Base staffs will be disbanded.
- The defence districts shall be reorganized and territorial defence shall be transferred as a whole to the jurisdiction of the Defence League. In addition to the Territorial Defence Staff, the wartime territorial defence structure will have five territorial defence districts with a territorial area of responsibility, one of which will be responsible for the so-called Greater Tallinn area. During peacetime, the territorial defence district staffs will be part of the Defence League General Staff or the Defence League district staffs.
The effectiveness of support services in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence shall increase.
- A joint ICT development and administration centre shall be created in the jurisdiction of the Defence Forces into which the information and communications technology development and support functions of the relevant institutions will be concentrated.
- The logistics system in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence shall be reorganized and in four years, a joint institution shall be established ensuring effective, centralized and transparent administration of materiel and infrastructure life cycle during both war and peace.
- To better manage veterans support services, the services shall be consolidated in a common support services centre to be created as part of the Defence Forces and which will manage and administer veterans support services throughout the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence.
Compared to the provisions of the previous development plan, the number of conscripts has risen by one-quarter – instead on the previously planned 2,500, there will be 3,200 conscripts drafted annually.
- The current conscription model will be maintained and compulsory military service will remain the primary basis for training reserve units and manning professional units. Starting in 2013, female Estonian citizens can also complete analogous military service on a voluntary basis.
- By the end of 2014, modern living conditions will be created for all conscripts. To do so, bases with capacity for expansion will be increased in size in Tallinn (Miinisadam), Tapa, Jõhvi, Võru and Ämari. For the purpose of saving on costs, bases that lack potential or are completely obsolete on Marja and Rahumäe street in Tallinn and in Meegomäe will be closed.
To ensure an increase in active-duty personnel, salaries in the Defence Forces and Defence League shall in 2013 be made competitive. This will be done based on the principle that personnel expenses in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence must not exceed one-third of the budget for the area of administration in any one year during the planning period.
The share of the budget devoted to salaries for civilians in the Ministry of Defence’s jurisdiction shall not increase. This means that the creation of additional civilian positions or increasing the wages faster than the inflation rate or overall growth in defence spending can only take place at the expense of other civilian positions.
The main priority in developing training areas is the Defence Forces central training ground, which must enable the infantry battalion hold simulated battle conditions exercises and air to surface bombing. The training areas in Nursipalu, Sirgala and Männiku and the shooting ranges in Tapa, Jõhvi, Uniküla, Männiku and Klooga will be developed and improved. In addition, the establishment of 7-10 additional shooting ranges in locations decided by the Defence League will take place in order to support training of Defence League military units.
The Ministry of Defence area of administration will continue prioritizing cyber defence both internationally and domestically, using for this purpose, among other things, the synergy created by cooperation between Defence League cyber defence units and the NATO Cyber Defence Centre.
The contribution to foreign operations carried out by NATO, the European Union and/or coalitions of the willing will continue in order to achieve Estonia’s security policy objectives. As a planning precondition, the point of departure is the requirements for increasing the applicability of NATO forces.
Unlike the field of military defence, the national defence functions with regard to other national defence fields have not been identified, as a result of which for the first time functions in the context of the broad interpretation of national defence was analysed in conjunction with representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government Office. The point of departure for the analysis was the main role of agencies set forth in the National Defence Development Plan with regard to national defence issues. In the process of compiling the development plan, the national defence functions of the relevant institutions were identified and the relevant strategies for their activity were compiled. In the development plan implementation phase, the focus with regard to non-military fields lay on refining methodology and carrying out an analysis of the volume and resources of identified functions. In the process of cooperation between institutions taking part in the process, the development plan has created a platform for further development of cross-agency planning of national defence.