Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu has asked the government for approval to begin negotiations with the Netherlands to purchase some second-hand combat vehicles, the CV9035.
The ministry said on Saturday that the Netherlands is ready to sell 44 Swedish-built combat vehicles to Estonia. Although no price was mentioned, the deal could be worth 100 million euros or more, while the Dutch first bought the vehicles in 2004 (2007 to 2011 delivery) for around four million euros per vehicle.
The national defense development plan for the 2013 to 2020 period aims to create one mechanized infantry brigade, and it is believed the current fleet of Pasi armored personnel carriers are not enough to fill that aim.
Reinsalu said that the shift in the security situation demands that Estonia also purchases mobile artillery units and third generation anti-tank weapons, besides moving ahead with the combat vehicle deal quicker. If the proposal is approved by the government, Estonia could take delivery of the first vehicles next year.
The CV9035 is used be all Scandinavian states, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The highly mobile vehicle is equipped with diesel engines, and a 30 to 40 mm cannon. It can carry 6-8 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 CV9035s weights two to three times as much as the 13.5 ton Patria Pasi, which was built by Finland and is currently in Estonian service.