Estonia procured twice as much ammunition in 2022 than in previous 30 years

Carl-Gustav M4 grenade launcher being used in a training exercise.
Carl-Gustav M4 grenade launcher being used in a training exercise. Source: RKIK

In 2022 and in the wake of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Estonian state acquired double the volume of ammunition as it had in the preceding 30 years, since independence was restored.

While the ammunition will necessarily be of different types in many cases than that procured earlier, this has to be added to large-scale procurements last year and ongoing into the future, mainly to boost the defensive capabilities of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF).

Overall, around a billion euros were spent on defense tenders in 2022 alone.

A total of €100 million was spent of ammunition of a range of calibers, including that for anti-tank weapons systems and Mistral anti-aircraft missiles, AK reported.

Also, automatic machines, land vehicles and related equipment, military equipment, communication and air surveillance equipment came to Estonia for 83 million euros.

Defensive procurements in 2022 included 400 Swedish -made Carl-Gustaf M4 grenade launchers which, together with ammunition, came at a price tag of €25 million, AK reported. Six more self-propelled artillery pieces, added to the existing stock of South Korean-made K9 "Thunder", cost a further €18 million.

Estonia's most significant defensive procurement partners are the U.S. (which makes up 19 percent of the total), France (12 percent of the total), Israel (9 percent), and Poland and South Korea (8 percent each).

Estonia itself has contributed 23 percent to this total, AK reported.

Of ongoing procurements, mid-range air defense cover is one of the most significant, and is being carried out jointly with Latvia.

A range of joint procurements with France additionally will bring armored tracked vehicles, vessels, field hospitals, and anti-aircraft ammunition, AK reported.

In terms of spend, €200 million is to be go on the acquisition of high-profile M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) systems, including ammunition €100 million in coastal defense equipment and €70 million investment in short-range air defense are projected, along with €54 million on more self-propelled artillery.

The acquisition of HIMARS as well as loitering ammunition, also known as suicide drones, will extend the EDF's indirect fire capabilities by up to 300km, AK reported.

Estonia's defense spend has long exceeded the minimum 2 percent of GDP required of NATO member states, with talk on the table of this being hiked to 3 percent.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'

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