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Estonia selects Blue Spear missile for coastal defence role

Estonia is to equip its coastal defences with a derivative of Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI's) Gabriel V missile supplied through IAI's joint venture with ST Engineering Land Systems.

In a 6 October announcement, IAI said that the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI) had signed a contract with Proteus Advanced Systems Pte Ltd to cover the supply of Blue Spear fifth-generation anti-ship missile systems. The coastal defence missile programme represents one of the largest and most complex defence procurements ever undertaken by Estonia.

Established by IAI and ST Engineering in 2020, Proteus Advanced Systems was set up to market the Blue Spear missile. Derived from IAI's Gabriel 5 ship-launched anti-ship missile, Blue Spear is a subsonic, radar-guided missile system designed to strike targets out to a range of 290 km.

According to IAI, ECDI confirmed on 6 October that it had reached an agreement with Proteus Advanced Systems for the procurement of Blue Spear to modernise Estonia's coastal defence capabilities. ECDI said that the award “was based on several evaluation criteria including total cost of ownership, involvement of local industry, and on the delivery time”. Janes understands that the first systems are scheduled to arrive in Estonia before the end of 2023.

In a statement, the Commander of the Estonian Navy Commodore Jüri Saska said that Blue Spear would “form the cornerstone of Estonian naval defence for decades to come”, adding that it would enable the Estonian Navy “to contribute significantly both to national, regional, and collective defence effort”.

Concerned by a growing Russian threat, Estonia has sought to increase defence co-operation with Latvia and Lithuania. However, efforts to bring Latvia into a joint procurement programme for coastal defence missiles foundered earlier this year.

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