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Estonia approves MoD development plan for 2021–24

Estonian Defence Minister Jüri Luik has approved a new Ministry of Defence (MoD) development plan for 2021–24, his ministry announced on its website on 19 February. The plan aims to improve situational awareness, communication capabilities, and the equipment of units, the MoD added. This will include NATO-compliant maritime surveillance and the development of a tactical communications system that is interoperable with Estonia's allies.

Estonia plans to deploy its K9 self-propelled howitzers by 2024. (Janes/Peter Felstead)

Estonia plans to deploy its K9 self-propelled howitzers by 2024. (Janes/Peter Felstead)

Luik said EUR200 million (USD216 million) would be invested over the four years covered by the plan in intelligence and early warning and communications at various levels. By 2024, the Estonian Defence Forces will be equipped with modern command and communications systems and anti-tank weapons, the 1st Infantry Brigade will include three armoured infantry battalions, and the 1st Infantry Brigade's mobility and ability to assemble quickly will be improved, according to Luik. Over the next four years, handguns, assault and sniper rifles, anti-tank missile systems, and anti-tank grenade launchers will arrive, and self-propelled artillery will be deployed, the Estonian MoD said.

Combat service support battalions, combat engineer battalions, a logistics battalion, a military police company, six more territorial defence companies, and a new cyber command will be fully equipped, the ministry added. EUR140 million will be invested in increasing ammunition stocks from 2021 to 2024, including EUR20 from Estonia's defence investment programme, with US assistance in stockpiling the ammunition.

The number of conscripts is to be increased to 3,800 by 2024.

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