Joint Estonian, Latvian procured defense forces vehicles to arrive in 2023

Volvo FMX
Volvo FMX Source: Ardi Hallismaa

Military vehicles jointly procured by Estonia and Latvia for the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF), Estonian Defence League (EDL), and Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) are expected to start arriving in 2023.

Estonia and Latvia signed a 10-year procurement deal worth €693 million deal earlier this year.

Sixteen different types of vehicles will be purchased by the countries, including SUVs, trucks, cranes and tow trucks, in a modernization drive costing €410 million. Some of the vehicles in the current rotation were made in the 1970s.

The exact number of vehicles to be purchased depends on market prices.

"Some changes are bound to happen. But our forecast is that vehicle prices should not change by more than 25 percent. /.../ For the first time, the plan is to agree on the first four years of vehicles at the same time. And we would like them to start arriving in Estonia in the third or fourth quarter of 2023," said Erko Sepri, head of the vehicles and equipment category at the Center for Defense Investment (RKK).

Additionally, support vehicles may also be needed for the countries' new defense capabilities, such as the South Korean-built K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers, said Major Herko Sepp, head of the Department of Defense Technology and Weapon Systems.

The EDL will receive a share of the new vehicles and probably some of the EDF's older equipment. The EDL is creating an itinerary of vehicles needed for its new recruits.

The procurement will be based on the principle of using a single manufacturer, which should bring in economies of scale and simplified support chains in future, rather than using multiple manufacturers' products, officials said in February.

The vehicles can be procured for ten years by the EDF, EDL, PPA and agencies under the control of Latvia's defense ministry.

The countries also plan to jointly procure medium-range air defense systems.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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