Estonian Ministry of Defence, Permanent Secretary Kristjan Prikk signed a joint technical arrangement agreement with Finland and Latvia, enabling Estonia to continue its participation in the programme to develop military requirements and platform for the potential procurement of armoured vehicles with a common armoured wheeled system.
Prikk said: "With the project that has several parties involved, we have to keep in mind that our primary goal here is to develop a platform that meets the requirements of Estonian Defence Forces with the favourable price.
"We see a big potential in this project, especially as we are involved already in the development phase, which is the best way to secure that eventually we will have equipment that meets our needs."
For Estonia, the development of armoured vehicles platform means the possible replacement of the older generation Pasi armoured vehicles currently used by its Defence Forces. The decision to replace the vehicles is scheduled to be made with the new Estonian National Defence Development Plan.
"It is important for us that international defence cooperation, which has a very clear economic dimension, continues. In the current crisis, it is also crucial that we continue to strengthen our defence capability and, if possible, lay the foundation for creating new jobs or maintaining existing ones in the Estonian defence industry sector, " Prikk added.
Within the framework of the agreement, Finland, Latvia and Estonia agreed on common technical requirements for the armoured vehicles platform to be developed and on the development of a vehicle prototype, the first results are planned to be achieved this year.
Under the agreement, countries are free to choose their future partners for the vehicle maintenance, crew training and spare parts. Estonian Defence Forces currently have 140 armoured vehicles in their fleet, with approx. 100 that need to be replaced in the coming years. First vehicles will come to the end of their lifecycle in 2024.
Editor: Helen Wright