Spanish air defenses to remain in Estonia longer

NASAMS systems being unloaded in Paldiski.
NASAMS systems being unloaded in Paldiski. Source: ERR

Spain's Minister of Defense Margarita Robles and her Estonian counterpart Hanno Pevkur agreed at an EU defense ministerial that Spain will extend the Estonian stay of its NASAMS medium-range air defense systems.

"We are very grateful to Spain for their dedication to strengthening NATO deterrence and defense posture in Estonia – this stands for both the NASAMS air defense unit and the Air Policing rotation at Ämari. I was very glad to learn they are willing to extend the NASAMS deployment in Estonia as it has already proved a valuable opportunity for cooperation for our armed forces," Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said.

Robles is set to visit Spanish units stationed in Estonia next week.

"Together with Latvia, we are set to sign our mutual medium-range air defenses procurement with German defense contractor Diehl in September. However, the Spanish unit's say in Estonia has given our ground and air forces the chance to study tactical command of medium-range air defense systems," Pevkur explained.

A Spanish NASAMS unit was stationed in Estonia in April of this year on the order of the NATO supreme allied commander Europe as part of NATO's eastern flank air and missile defenses. NATO heads of state decided to create a new rotational air defense model similar to the Air Policing Mission for the eastern flank at the Vilnius summit.

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Editor: Mari Peegel, Marcus Turovski

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