Gallery: Estonian Defense Forces demonstrate HIMARS at Tapa
On Friday, the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) demonstrated the capabilities of the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which is set to enter into service with the EDF next year.
While Estonia's own HIMARS is due to arrive in the country in the next few years, the U.S. has already deployed a HIMARS unit to Estonia in order to reinforce NATO's eastern flank.
"The imminent deployment of HIMARS will significantly increase in Estonia's defense posture and also have a strategic effect," said Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) Lieutenant General Martin Herem.
According to Herem, the deployment of the HIMARS system to Estonia will boost the country's military capabilities and also enable the EDF to conduct necessary training.
"The best place to train for the defense of Estonia, is in Estonia," Herem said.
"For us, the Defense Forces, it is extremely important that our key allies in the form of US units know the terrain here. (It is also important that) our units are familiar with each other's procedures so we can be ready to react quickly if necessary," he said.
Last December, the Estonian Center for Defense Investment (RKK)) signed a contract with the US Defense Cooperation Agency (DSCA) for the procurement of HIMARS light multiple launch rocket systems.
Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the total value of the contract is worth over $200 million US.
In what is the largest weapons procurement deal Estonia has ever undertaken, a total of six HIMARS systems will be purchased, along with the requisite ammunition, communications technology, training and logistics and maintenance equipment.
The package includes missiles with different capabilities, ranging from 70 to 300 kilometers. HIMARS systems are also being procured by Latvia and Lithuania.
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Editor: Michael Cole