Eesti Arsenal wants to build explosives factory in Estonia

Eesti Arsenal wants to begin manufacturing grenades, among other weapons and explosives.
Eesti Arsenal wants to begin manufacturing grenades, among other weapons and explosives. Source: Postimees/Scanpix

Defence industry company Eesti Arsenal wants to build a factory in Estonia that would produce mines, grenades and other military explosive materials.

Legislative amendments passed by the Riigikogu in mid-June will allow for the creation of an Estonian weapons and explosives industry, weekly Maaleht (link in Estonian) reported on Thursday.

In addition to the national defence and economic aspects, the factory is also necessary as a platform for growth for military and energy material engineering as well as military engineering, Eesti Arsenal director Jens Haug said.

According to Haug, it is important that explosive material production is shifted as close as possible to both the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) as well as potential clients, which would allow for quick modifications of products as well as good opportunities for product testing at military training grounds.

Established in 2015, Eesti Arsenal produces munitions as well as explosive materials, including mines, grenades and training shells, with production in large part currently taking place outside of Estonia.

Estonian defence contractors granted right to produce military weapons

The Riigikogu on 13 June passed amendments that will grant Estonian defence contractors the right to manufacture and handle military weapons, ammunition and ordnance.

Under these changes, operating licences will be issued exclusively to companies registered and operating in Estonia, and entrepreneurs, owners, managers, responsible officials and employees will have to pass a background check.

The bill estimated that five or six domestic companies will apply for permits during the first year, and one or two annually in subsequent years.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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