Defence to get €818m for procurement over four years (2)
The Defence Forces will get funding of more than €800m over the next four years. The money is part of the defense budget, but specifically intended for procurement. Funds will be spent on weapon systems and other equipment, including new sidearms, unmanned aircraft, and long-range anti-tank systems.
The Defence Forces' tender budget for the next four years is €818m. As ERR’s Aktuaalne Kaamera reported, this will cover ammunition for all of the forces’ weapons, a complete exchange of sidearms, unmanned aircraft, and long-range anti-tank missile systems.
Defence Minister Hannes Hanso (SDE) said that the Defence Forces would invest in the Javelin system, and with it get long-range weapons, after they had recently run a tender for third-generation anti-tank systems.
The Information Board gets more funding as well. Scoutspataljon will get combat as well as support machinery, the first of which will arrive in autumn this year. Work on most of the tenders will begin next year. Hanso didn’t specify whether the equipment they were going to buy would be mainly new, or if once again used systems would have to do.
“Of course we want to equip our Defence Forces with the most modern and most up-to-date, but the tax payers have to keep in mind that everything has financial limits,” Hanso said.
Asked if for instance the new sidearms could come out of an ally’s depot, like Swedish weapons were bought years ago when the Swedes changed calibers, the Defence Minister said it was too early to say. He did point out that the Defence Forces would prefer a larger caliber.
“The general tendency is to move towards 7.62, but that depends on our cooperation with the Defence Forces,” Hanno said.
€818m over the next four years amounts to 40% of the Estonian defense budget now destined for the aquisition of new material.