The Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI) on Friday announced a €40 million euro procurement for the purchase of long-range antitank weapons systems.
In the framework of the procurement, at least 18 weapons systems are to be bought with ammunition. The supplier must also supply auxiliary equipment, provide technical support and training, spokespeople for the ECDI said.
"The antitank system to be procured must have a range of least 4,000 meters, and the new weapon must be capable of destroying targets behind a barrier," Priit Soosaar, head of the the Procurement Department at the ECDI, said in a press release.
The weapons must be in serial production and in use in the army of at least one NATO member state.
The estimated cost of the contract, which must include an option for the purchase of additional units, is €40 million.
The weapons systems to be purchased are meant for an upgrade of the weaponry of the antitank companies of Estonia's infantry brigades, where conscripts will be trained in their use.
"The system to be procured will significantly improve the infantry brigades' antitank capability as the range and capacity to impact the enemy even when they are out of line of sight will increase," said Maj. Alar Karileet, coordinator of the procurement at the EDF, adding that the new equipment which has the so-called fire-and-update operation mode, is an improved version of the antitank weapons currently in use by the EDF.
A nose-mounted camera on the missile enables the operator to receive real-time intelligence and update target information even when there is no direct sight between the operator and the target, Karileet described, noting that the weapon, ammunition and auxiliary equipment need to be man-portable as well as usable when attached to a vehicle.
The weapons systems to be bought are meant for an upgrade of the weaponry of the antitank companies of Estonia's infantry brigades, where conscripts will be trained in their use.
"Training in the use of said weapons systems is very fast, cost-effective and efficient thanks to modern simuation and training equipment," Karileet said. "Training for instructors and active service personnel of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) is also a substantive part of the procurement."
Along with the purchase of infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), self-propelled artillery, new automatic firearms and replenishments of the stocks of wartime units, the acquisition of the antitank systems is among the priorities of Estonia's national defence-related procurements this decade.
As a result of the competitive negotiated procurement, a seven-year framework agreement will be concluded with the supplier.
Editor: Aili Vahtla