Estonia will have an operational mid-range air defense system by 2025, Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) said on Monday. The government has agreed to allocate the funds in next year's budget.
"Mid-range air defense was one of my priorities and I am very glad that the government coalition is paving the way for establishing functional mid-range air defense capabilities for Estonia by 2025," the minister said. "This is a big step forward towards filling this critical capability gap."
The procurement contract must be signed in the first quarter of 2023 and the first systems should arrive by 2024. Funding has been spread from 2024-2027 but the total cost is not yet known but it will include infrastructure, personnel, training, equipment and other related costs.
"I can say that this sum is in the hundreds of millions of euros," Pevkur said.
The mid-range air defense procurement will be done in cooperation with Latvia.
"From a regional security perspective, it is important for these two systems to be interoperable. That allows us to better organize air defense in the region, to reduce costs, and to jointly organize training, stockpiling and logistics," the minister said.
Editor: Helen Wright