Gallery: Stinger live-firing, multi-national exercise
A live-firing exercise on a Lääne-Viru County beach saw eight Stinger air defense missiles launched, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Thursday.
While Stinger is generally human-portable, Stryker armored fighting vehicles were used as a platform, for the first time in Estonia.
The exercise was part of the larger Operation Saber Strike, a U.S.-led annual exercise.
Lt. Col. Tanel Lelov, commander of the Estonian Defense Forces' (EDF) air defense battalion (Õhutõrjepataljon), told AK that the exercise had successfully served its purpose, and the detection, targeting and launching of the missiles functioned well.
Operation Saber Strike exercise runs March 7-16, and personnel from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (10th AAMDC) took part in the exercise, held on Rutja beach, 100km to the east of Tallinn.
The 10th AAMDC's commander, Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Brady, and the U.S. Army V Corps commander Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Broadwater, were on-site for the exercise, while military personnel from a NASAMS anti-aircraft unit from non-NATO member Finland took part, as did warplanes from the U.K., Belgium and Poland.
The U.S. prototype Stryker-mounted system was tested, having made its way from New Mexico to Germany last autumn, and subsequently to Estonia.
Target drones were also deployed (see gallery below), to make use of Stinger's infrared homing functions.
The area's safety was overseen by the EDF and the civilian Rescue Board (Päästeamet), in conjunction with local government.
Around 13,000 defense personnel from 13 countries are taking part in Saber Strike overall.
The exercise continues, focused on the EDF's central training ground in Harju County.
Operation Saber Strike is an annual U.S.-led multinational exercise that has been held since 2010. This year's exercise is taking place in winter to allow participants to participate in training in harsher conditions.
Stryker is an eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicle based on the Canadian LAV III
The original AK slot (in Estonian) is here.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte