Nine of 14 offers received in a procurement of automatic firearms for the Estonian Defence Forces, Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and Ministry of Justice have qualified for the procurement.
The offers to qualify came from Heckler & Koch GmbH (Germany), Sig Sauer Inc. (U.S.), Colt Canada Corporation (Canada), Fabryka Broni "Łucznik" - Radom (Poland), Česká zbrojovka a.s. Uherský Brod (Czech Republic), Israel Weapon Industries (Israel), Lewis Machine & Tool Company (U.S.), Patriot Ordnance Factory Inc. (U.S.), and a joint offer made by Sako Ltd. (Finland) and Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A. (Italy), the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) said.
By the end of the year, the qualified tenderers will be provided with the terms and conditions of the procurement for the submission of tenders. Tenders must be submitted during the first quarter of 2018, after which a framework agreement covering a seven-year period will be concluded with the winning tenderer.
"All the companies that have qualified are well-known arms manufacturers," said ECDI director Col. Rauno Sirk. "The high level and number of participants in the procurement is a prerequisite for us to be able to acquire for the EDF the best and economically most advantageous weapons."
The center wants to purchase new 5.56-millimeter and 7.62-millimeter automatic firearms for the EDF's 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades.
The Ministry of Justice and the PPA were also included in the procurement, as they are likewise in need of new firearms. The technical specifications have been drawn up by the EDF.
According to the procurement plan, the ECDI is to purchase approximately 11,000 automatic firearms from 2018-2021. In addition, the contract must allow the option to purchase up to 18,000 additional automatic firearms until 2024.
The expected maximum budget for the procurement is €75 million, making it one of Estonia's biggest and most important armament contracts in the next ten years.
Editor: Aili Vahtla