The Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) has signed a contract on the purchase of short range air defence systems from the French armaments manufacturer MBDA France with the intention of purchasing €50 million worth of missiles and training equipment.
ECDI director Col. Rauno Sirk and MBDA France Vice-President Didier Philippe signed the contract on the purchase of Mistral short range missles and training equipment at the Eurosatory defence fair in Paris on Tuesday, spokespeople for the centre said.
According to the contract, the centre will buy €50 million worth of Mistral missiles and equipment over the 2020-2027 period. In addition, the framework agreement allows the country to buy additionally anti-aircraft missiles for €100 million.
"Procurement of ammunition is one of our top priorities next to the soon-to-be completed procurement of new automatic firearms and self-propelled howitzers, and a critical investment in actual defence readiness," Sirk said.
Mistral is a "fire and forget" anti-aircraft missile system guided by infrared homing with an effective range of up to six kilometres.
Under the contract, Estonia will continue to purchase Mistral M3 missiles that have better precision and a longer life-span than older types. "Estonia was the first foreign country to deploy new type Mistral missiles," Sirk noted. "They are technologically advanced, a more precise guidance system and electronics help distinguish intended targets from incorrect ones, and they are practically maintenance-free,"
Estonia placed its first order for Mistral missiles in 2007 and they were added to the arsenal of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) in 2009. The country is currently buying Mistral missiles under a contract concluded with MBDA in 2015.
According to Ministry of Defence plans, more than €200 million will be invested in ammunition in 2018-2022.
Editor: Aili Vahtla