The Estonian defence minister, Jüri Luik, has approved the new defence development plan for 2021-2024 that will increase investments in the development of situational awareness, communication capabilities and units.
According to Luik, the plan focuses on manned and equipped combat units of the Defence Forces and the Defence League that can respond to threats with the shortest possible notice and together with Estonia’s allies.
“In addition to the fields of intelligence and early warning, communications at different levels will receive considerable attention, with more than €200 million being invested over the four-year period,” he said.
Equipping the Cyber Command
In 2024, the Estonian Defence Forces will be equipped with modern communications and command systems as well as modern anti-tank systems. The country’s 1st Infantry Brigade will include three armoured battalions and the 2nd Infantry Battalion will be able to assemble more rapidly and will have greater mobility.
“The important keyword is armaments,” Luik said. Over the next four years, new main rifles, anti-tank missile systems, anti-tank grenade launchers and sniper rifles will arrive, and self-propelled artillery will be deployed.
Combat service support battalions, combat engineering battalions, the Logistics Battalion, a military police company, six additional territorial defence companies and the Cyber Command, as a new branch, will all be fully equipped.
An increase in ammunition stocks
Major infrastructure projects include the Military and Disaster Medicine Centre being built in Tartu, the Battle School and the new infrastructure for headquarters, training, medical, diving, storage and technical repairs to be located at the Mine Harbour.
An increase in ammunition stocks is planned for the period 2021-2024, using the Defence Investment Programme resources and assistance from the United States, in the total amount of €232 million, the ministry of defence said in a statement.
Cover: The insignia of the Estonian Kuperjanov Infantry Battalion. The image is illustrative.