Combat Vehicle Purchase Was Planned Before Ukraine Crisis, Says Senior Officer
The Defense Ministry's plan to buy 44 CV9035 armored vehicles was not motivated by the heightened security situation as a result of the Ukraine crisis, but was written into the defense development plan already two years ago, said Lieutenant Colonel Kalle Teras.
He told ETV's “Ringvaade” on Tuesday that the CV9035NL armored vehicles have better protection, maneuverability and firepower than the Pasi armored personnel carriers currently in service.
The vehicles will be used by the Scouts Battalion and would be used to back up tanks and infantry in battle. He said the nation still has plans to buy tanks, but any decision will not be made before 2016.
The ministry is currently locked in negotiations with the Netherlands over the purchase, which will be, when completed, one of the largest ever for the Defense Force.
The new defense development plan for the 2013 to 2022 period was approved a year ago and will see the creation of two brigades, one of which will be mechanized. The size of the Defense Force and the voluntary Defense League are set to increase.
The country's previous, more ambitious plan included a medium-range air defense system, speedboats for the Navy, helicopters for the Air Force and tanks.