Minister approves defense ministry 2022-2025 development plan

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South Korean-made K9 self-propelled howitzer being tested in Estonia. Source: Janvar Pitelkov/ Ministry of Defense

Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform) has approved the ministry's 2022-2025 development plan that prescribes new arms, adoption of sea mines and a coastal defense system and continued introduction of self-propelled artillery.

The Defense Forces command capacity will also be developed, with improved situational awareness, including NATO-standard maritime surveillance and development of tactical communications systems, the ministry reported.

Kalle Laanet said that the ministry is launching a so-called future navy project that should come to shape the face of Estonian and other navies in 10-15 years' time.

Laanet also said that the 1st and 2nd infantry brigades will get field hospitals solutions.

The EDF field hospitals will rely heavily on solutions developed in Estonia. The ministry will support development of the Estonian defense industry over a four-year period and co-finance R&D projects with a strong export potential in the volume of €3.2 million.

It is estimated that more than half of services and products will be procured from domestic contractors in the new development plan period.

The new development plan prescribes the adoption of new small arms, machine guns, anti-tank systems, anti-tank grenade launchers, sniper rifles and mortars.

The development plan will see increased investments in the weaponry and equipment of territorial defense units formed based on the Defense League. The league's annual operational support amounts to €43.7 million to which procurements for territorial defense units are added. The principle that Defense League-based units will be armed and equipped to the same standard as Defense Forces units will be retained.

In addition to several fully equipped units, the 2022-2025 development plan aims to fully equip the Combat Service Support Battalion, pioneer battalions and the military police company.

Large-scale procurements will cover transport vehicles. Soldiers will be outfitted with new flak and bullet-proof jackets, night vision devices, decontamination materials. Another procurement will cover integrated laser engagement systems that allow company-size units to train realistically and effectively in limited conditions.

Securing enough ammunition will also be paid attention. Investments in munitions will amount to €135 million in 2022-2025 to which the annual sum of €20 million in the defense investments program will be added.

The development plan for the administrative area of the Ministry of Defense describes the developmental goals of military national defense and the resources it will take to achieve them that are determined based on the national defense development plan, military advice from the commander of the Estonian Defense Forces and NATO capacity goals.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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