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Bunkers development to require enough material to build five blocks of flats

An EDF member during a training exercise.
An EDF member during a training exercise. Source: Oliver Turp

The 600 bunkers to be installed on Estonia's border with Russia will be single concrete modules designed to withstand a direct hit from an artillery shell.

The bunkers to be constructed on the border will look like living rooms from the inside.

"First, there are the living room essentials. They need to offer accommodation, somewhere to store your gear, a heat source and the possibility of electricity," said Maj. Taavi Moor, commander of the EDF Engineer Battalion.

The most important requirement for the bunkers is being able to take a hit from a Russian artillery gun, which is why the structures will be built using concrete.

The construction material needs of the 600 bunkers will match those of five apartment buildings.

"If we compare them to an ordinary block of flats, in terms of how much concrete goes in the load-bearing walls, it's double that thickness for a bunker like this. The concrete will be 40 centimeters thick on the ceiling, while other parts might get by with less as they will also be covered in soil for added strength," Jarek Kurnitski, director of the TalTech Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, said.

He added that such bunkers will not be difficult to build, also since they don't need a ventilation system as they are not shelters.

Similar bunkers are in use in Israel, for example.

"The standard is a squad-sized bunker, meaning it can hold ten people and their gear. But the bunkers can be linked or bigger ones constructed if needed. The structures will be modular and their fittings can be replaced to turn them into command centers or warehouses," Maj. Moor explained.

"A single module able to accommodate ten people can be relocated by EDF heavy machinery as it's weight of 50 tons makes it lighter than a proper MBT. And we have seen the EDF transport such tanks with no problems," Kurnitski remarked.

He also said that it will be possible to deliver the concrete modules using forest roads if the ground is dry or frozen. Moor emphasized that efforts will be made to avoid cutting additional paths through forests.

The bunkers will be installed around key areas where the enemy is likely to be found if there is a conflict.

Estonia will build hundreds of bunkers on its border with Russia under new plans to create a "Baltic defense line" to strengthen regional security. On Friday, January 19 an agreement was signed by the three Baltic states to construct "anti-mobility defensive installations" in the coming years.

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Editor: Merili Nael, Marcus Turovski

Source: "Aktuaalne kaamera"

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