Ministry a Step Closer to Combat Vehicle Purchase ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonian Defense Minister Sven Mikser and his Dutch counterpart Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, today signed a cooperation agreement for the purchase of 44 CV90 combat vehicles, with the final contract set to be signed later this year.

Mikser said the first payment in the deal, which will be the largest Estonian weapons procurement since re-independence, has already been written into next year's budget, Postimees reported today.

Although no cost figure was revealed, the deal could be worth around 100 million euros, as the Dutch purchased the vehicles for four million euros each in 2004.

The minister agreed that the Swedish-built vehicles, still under the Dutch flag, will take place in next year's Independence Day parade in February.

The deal is in a long line of defense cooperation between the two nations, with Estonia buying a large number of used trucks, off-road vehicles and 81 SISU XA-188 armored personnel carriers.

The CV9035 is used by all Scandinavian countries, as well as by Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The highly mobile vehicle is equipped with diesel engines, and a 30 to 40 mm cannon. It can carry six to eight soldiers and provides all-round protection against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. The armor protection over the front arc of the vehicle is classified.

The CV9035 weighs two to three times as much as the 13.5-ton Patria Pasi, which was built by Finland and is currently in Estonian service.