Estonia to buy missile systems for coastal defence

Estonia has signed a contract with a joint venture to purchase missile systems for developing the country’s coastal defence capabilities.

The Estonian Centre for Defence Investment signed the contract with Proteus Advanced Systems, which is a joint venture company of Israel Aerospace Industries and ST Engineering Land Systems, a Singaporean engineering company.

The project, with tight timescales and encompassing a complex set of requirements, is one of the biggest projects in Estonian defence procurement and definitely the most complex, the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment said in a statement.

The Blue Spear missile system is an advanced precision weapon that can operate at all weather conditions, day and night and enables strike capabilities beyond the line of sight, against mobile and stationary targets at sea.

The missile’s maximum range is 290 kilometres – or 180 miles. The Blue Spear missiles share a heritage with Israel Aerospace Industries’ Gabriel missile family system that has been developed over many years.

An illustration of a Blue Spear missile. Image by Israel Aerospace Industries.

The Blue Spear system enables launching from several land-based platforms with flight at high sub-sonic speed, according to the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment.

The missile system improves Estonia’s coastal defence substantially

“The warhead employs an active radar-homing seeker, accurate INS-based navigation capabilities and a robust system that is immune to GPS disruptions and has maximum accuracy in target acquisition. The systems are equipped with a variety of deception means to achieve its mission and cope with the different battle-field challenges,” the centre added. INS stands for inertial navigation system.

“This weapons system substantially improves our coastal defence and sends a clear message that we are contributing to the regional and collective defence effort,” Kalle Laanet, the Estonian defence minister, noted.

According to the commander of the Estonian Navy, Commodore Jüri Saska, the chosen weapons system “will form the cornerstone of Estonian naval defence for decades to come. The Estonian Navy will be able to contribute significantly both to national, regional and collective defence effort.”

Estonia has a long coastline, but currently lacks proper coastal defence.

Israel Aerospace Industries is an aerospace and defence company, delivering technologies in space, air, land, naval, cyber and homeland security for defence and commercial markets. 

ST Engineering is a technology, defence and engineering group that offers solutions that enhance capabilities of its customers across the aerospace, smart city, defence and public security segments.

Cover: An illustration of a Blue Spear missile. Image by Israel Aerospace Industries.

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