Two Estonian firms have been granted the tender to repoint Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) tracked armored vehicles for several different purposes, in the largest defense contract to be awarded to an Estonian firm by the Estonian state itself.
AS Ühenenud Depood and Scania Eesti AS have won the €29.8-million contract, BNS reports, awarded by the Center for Defense Investment (RKK).
Thirty-seven Swedish-made Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90) tracked military vehicles are to be reconfigured to tasks focusing on combat engineer roles, anti-tank roles and several other uses, and will fit out the EDF's 1st Infantry Brigade's Scouts' Battalion (Scoutspataljon). The development also brings to a close a process which has gone on for several years, BNS reports.
Night drive capabilities and protected gun turrets will also be part of the deal, as will a seven-year maintenance and support component.
"This is the biggest order from the state for the Estonian defense industry in history. Nor has armored equipment been rebuilt in Estonia on such scale previously," Ivar Janson, head of the RKK's armored vehicles and tech section said.
Lt. Col. Tonis Metjer, EDF HQ analysis and planning unit senior staff officer said the delivery scheduled for late 2023 (the tender's requirement was a 31-month timeframe from signing the deal – ed.) was key in the armored infantry battalion reaching full combat capability the following year.
The tender fits in with current Estonian defense doctrine for the full mechanization of its two infantry brigades, a capability also bolstered by the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup based at Tapa, which sees a British Army heavy infantry, or armored, depending on the rotation, battalion as the focal point
Editor: Andrew Whyte