Ministry of Defence approves 2020-2023 development plan

Conscripts testing antitank missiles. Photo is illustrative.
Conscripts testing antitank missiles. Photo is illustrative. Source: Ardi Hallismaa

The Ministry of Defence has approved its development plan for the 2020-2023 period, which calls for investing in the Estonian Defence Forces' (EDF) command, communication and combat support capabilities.

The new development plan aims to improve the EDF's command and communication capabilities, as well as its combat support capability, and provide the necessary equipment for the Cyber Command that began work in the area of government of the Ministry of Defence in August, spokespeople for the ministry said.

Investments in equipment are also to continue. For example, procurements for night vision equipment as well as bulletproof and splinterproof vests are to be initiated. In addition to firearms and machine guns, anti-tank weapons will also be replaced, and the plan also includes investments in munitions. 

Minister of Defence Jüri Luik (Pro Patria) said that the personnel of the EDF are the main focus of the new development plan.

In 2018, the ministry made a decision with the commander of the defence forces to increase the wage level for active-duty personnel to exceed the Estonian average wage by 30%, the minister said.

The volunteer Estonian Defence League (Kaitseliit) also has an important place in the plan approved this week. Support allocated to the Kaitseliit is to increase to €43 million per year, in addition to investments to be made in the equipment of Kaitseliit-based territorial defence units.

All purchased howitzers are expected to have arrived in Estonia by 2023, by which time the procurement of long-range antitank systems is also to be completed. 

The Estonian Air Force is to receive in 2019 transport aircraft M-28, the Estonian Navy is to obtain two new vessels and mobile maritime surveillance radars in order to ensure the survivability of maritime surveillance in wartime.

The development plan for the Ministry of Defence's area of governance for 2020-2023 describes the development objectives of military defence, which are drawn up on the basis of the long-term national defence development plan for 2017-2026, the military advice of the Commander of the EDF as well as NATO capability-building goals.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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