Apart from the air defense exercises held in Estonia, neither Estonia nor Latvia currently have medium-range air defense systems. Lithuania is the only Baltic country with this particular capability.
Medium-range air defense systems can hit targets up to 50 kilometers away, which is a major advantage in wartime.
“Acquiring these systems with Latvia will give us the same capability. This gives us a major advantage on the battlefield. These systems are fully compatible, which offers the advantage of consistency. We will also be able to procure additional missiles and other components with the Latvian Defense Ministry,” said Priit Soosaar, head of the communications and radar category at the Estonian Defense Investment Center.
Estonia and Latvia will be able to organize joint exercises, in addition to joint public procurement which will be cheaper overall.
Soosaar said all preparations for the supply have been made.
Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said he intended to present the plan to the government in the coming weeks.
“We are putting the finishing touches on the memo and hope to publish it in the coming weeks,” the minister said.
Pevkur said it is difficult to talk about the exact sums because several options exist for the international tender.
Soosaar added that it is important to emphasize that Estonia is developing a capability rather than a single weapon system.
“This means that we give potential bidders a list of military tasks for which they can propose technical solutions that would help protect the airspace of Estonia and Latvia,” he explained.
Hanno Pevkur said the system could ideally be in use in three years, while international bidding may also take longer.
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