Estonia has decided to work with Finland to move towards the purchase of South-Korean-built K9 Thunder howitzers. According to the Ministry of Defence, it is planning to buy at least 12, destined to enter service in 2021.
The ministry commented already in January that apart from the howitzers themselves, any tender involving the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) for such armament would have to include maintenance and training as well.
When Finland was getting ready to announce a tender in December 2016, Finnish defense minister Jussi Niinistö extended the offer to his Estonian counterpart that the two countries could work together to purchase the new howitzers.
Back in December, the defense ministry’s press spokesman, Andres Sang, told ERR’s online news that the K9 howitzer principally fit in with the EDF’s development plans.
"According to the defense sector's long-term development plans, the defense forces will be developing its armored maneuver capabilities and the procurement of self-propelled artillery is one element of these plans," Sang said.
Finland did extensive testing of the Korean Samsung Techwin K-9 Thunder howitzer system in 2016. The Finnish Army has been on the hunt for a supplier for new artillery since 2015 and is also planning to replace numerous Soviet-built artillery systems.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn