The Estonian Ministry of the Interior signed an agreement on Tuesday to buy a Beechcraft King Air 350 surveillance aircraft for the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) from Swedish company Bromma Air Maintenance AB for just over 19 million euros.
The plane, which is scheduled to be completed in spring 2018, will replace the border guard's existing Czech-made Let L-410 surveillance aircraft, said the ministry.
The offer of the Beechcraft King Air 350 platform by Bromma Air Maintenance was chosen in an international procurement tender; the total cost of the aircraft together with necessary surveillance equipment is 19,031,446 euros. The acquisition will be supported by the Connecting Europe Facility.
According to Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur, the new plane will be used primarily for surveillance of the Baltic Sea, to detect maritime pollution before it has a chance to reach the coast, gather evidence when a case of pollution has occurred as well as check the lawfulness of the actions of vessels on the sea.
"Compared to the present aircraft, which is 35 years old, the new aircraft will also be faster, more fuel efficient and will have a longer range and endurance," explained the minister. "The onboard equipment of the surveillance aircraft will include a search radar, two system operator work station and a state-of-the-art surveillance system."
Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior added that the Beechcraft King Air 350 is an aircraft widely used in military and cost guard surveillance worldwide.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla