Artillery price

State planning artillery, supply of missile systems to the Armed Forces of Ukraine | News

Weapon systems – 122 mm howitzers and Javelin missiles – are primarily intended for anti-tank defense.

Peeter Kuimet, head of the Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Defence, told ERR on Thursday that: “Estonia has made a decision in principle and via the Ministry of Defense that our desire is to support Ukraine with armaments and ammunition in its current difficult security situation.

“What we are currently considering or working on are Javelin missiles for anti-tank missile systems, and we are considering or planning to provide 122mm howitzers with their ammunition,” Kuimet continued.

The announcement comes after a significant number of Russian servicemen reportedly massed on the Russian side of the Ukrainian border, although some units have moved, according to recent reports.

About the cost, Kuimet said: “In a situation where Ukraine will soon be under Russian aggression for seven or eight years, I wouldn’t want to start quibbling about kopecks here,” adding that the intention was to “Looking for places where Ukraine can really help with the things they need that would enhance their own defense and hopefully deterrence capabilities.”

Kuimet added that Estonia itself is constantly buying more Javelin missiles.

EDF personnel, including special forces, pioneers, artillery and medics, have been deployed in Ukraine since 2014 and the annexation of Crimea and the start of the ongoing insurgency war in the eastern Ukraine, a work that should continue and benefit both sides, Kuimet added.

He said: “Thanks to the experience of the Ukrainians, we also get a more immediate picture of what a conflict or battle picture looks like with the Russian Federation or the units it supports,” adding that the Estonia plans to continue training the ZSU, the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“We are currently holding annual English courses for Ukrainian special forces at the Defense Force Academy [in Tallinn ]. Estonia, along with the other Baltic states and Denmark, also sponsor the studies of Ukrainian students at the Baltic Defense College,” he continued, adding that the number of students could be doubled next year if necessary.

In terms of equipment already sent, Estonia supplied 2,400 Makarov pistols last year, but the new deliveries offered concern much larger and more modern equipment.

A joint Estonian-German initiative is also preparing field hospital facilities at a cost of 5 million euros, and similar to the one set up at Kuressaare Hospital in Saaremaa, during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Permission from the United States and other partners is required beforehand

However, permission must be sought from the countries of origin of the material already in hand, before it can be sent to Ukraine.

In the case of the Javelin missiles, the country of origin is the United States, while Finland and Germany must give the green light in the relations with the howitzers (the Finns having bought them from Germany before their sale – 42 of them to 31 million Estonian crowns (about 2 million euros) to Estonia, in 2009).

The 122 mm howitzers were until now used by the artillery battery of the 2nd EDF infantry brigade. They will be replaced by the recently purchased South Korean-made K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers.

Estonia also has over 30 155mm howitzers; these are likely to be kept in reserve. EDF should also acquire Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) weapons in the coming years.

Expert: Military assistance on such unprecedented scale for Estonia

Kalev Stoicescu, a researcher at X (ICDS), said the proposed military assistance was an unprecedented initiative for Estonia.

Stoicescu told ETV news program “Aktuaalne kaamera” (AK) on Thursday: “Estonia has already donated or provided military assistance in the form of small arms and light weapons, but not weapons heavier”, adding that this would always be welcome.

“Ukraine got a lot of help from the US, UK, Canada, Poland, Lithuania, Germany – why not Estonia? Stoicescu continued.

In the new year, meetings involving the United States, which has so far provided $2.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine, reports the AK, the NATO council and the Russia, should take place.

The talks were convened by Russia, based on a request to reverse any NATO reinforcements on its eastern flank.

Stoicescu added that the process of clearing weapons to be sent to Ukraine, and their actual arrival, would likely take months, by which time the situation regarding that country and its neighbors would be clearer anyway.

This article has been updated to include Kalev Stoicescu’s comment.

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