Saaremaa shipyard is building Europe's future military ship

A military vessel under development by Baltic Workboats.
A military vessel under development by Baltic Workboats. Source: Baltic Workboats

The European Defense Fund provides development financing to 16 military projects with Estonian participation totaling half a billion euros. The building of a new semi-autonomous military vessel, led by the Saaremaa business Baltic Workboats, is Estonia's biggest project.

Baltic Workboats will create a completely new, unique semi-autonomous military vessel of the future. The ship's principal developer is a Saaremaa-based firm. In addition to Baltic Workboats, 10 European countries are involved in the project.

"I would say that everything besides aluminum will be new, innovative, and incorporate solutions that weren't used before. The primary mission of the vessel will be surveillance and patrolling. It will also serve as a base ship for lesser vessels and drones," Erik Alekseev, CEO of Baltic Workboats, said.

Estonia is involved in 16 European Defense Fund (EDF) development projects, which are aimed at developing innovative solutions in cyber and information warfare, maritime surveillance, satellite development, land defense and information technology.

"These initiatives total close to €500 million. Significant quantities and highly influential areas of research. Not all of this money is flowing to Estonia, as there are companies and research institutions from other countries, but it shows that Estonian companies are a part of important consortia, and they are doing excellent work," Tiina Uudeberg, undersecretary for defense planning at the Ministry of Defense, said.

Commodore Jüri Saska, commander of the Estonian Navy, anticipates new developments.

"We have been involved in describing the requirements, in other words, what the basis could do. And that's what the navy's involvement has been limited to. /.../ We are certainly keenly interested in the completion of the prototype and its testing phases, as well as the research findings that could be applied to the naval platform in the future," Saska said.

This 50-meters European military vessel of the future is being manufactured at the Baltic Workboats facility in Nasva and is anticipated to be launched within three years.

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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