Mistral air defense missiles used in live-firing exercise

Mistral surface-to-air missile being fired in Rutja, earlier this year.
Mistral surface-to-air missile being fired in Rutja, earlier this year. Source: Ministry of Defense

Wednesday saw French-made Mistral air defense missiles used in a live-firing exercise, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reports.

Part of the large-scale Siil exercise, the live-firing took place near the coastal village of Rutja, Lääne-Viru County.

Maj. Taavi Talunik, the commander of the training unit of the Estonian Defense Forces' (EDF) air defense battalion (Õhutõrjepataljon), told AK that a conscript must also be able to physically launch a missile under combat condition.

"This is not only important for conscripts, but also for us, the air defense personnel, that we can check our weapons system and be sure that everything is fine with them."

The EDF says that while using simulators is useful, with tech having improved over time, real live-firing is also necessary.

The live-firing does not come with a low price-tag, however. One firing costs over €100,000, though the target hit rate accuracy runs at over 90 percent, AK reported.

The exercise was not the first to involve Mistral this year - back in March,

Mistral is an infrared homing man-portable air-defense system manufactured by MBDA France.

While exercise Siil ("Hedgehog") predominantly focuses on EDF reservists, conscripts and regular EDF personnel, as well as those from allied militaries, also take part.

The AK slot including footage of live-firing is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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