The Estonian government has approved a decision to keep the country’s defence budget at the level of at least 2% GDP for the period 2020-2023.
With at least 2% GDP spent on defence up until 2023 Estonia will focus on the development of a number of capabilities which will be vital to military defence and essential for defending the country. According to Estonian MoD, defence expenditures for the next four years will total nearly EUR 2.6 billion (11 billion Polish Zloty).
The latest decision of the Estonian government comes in hand with the National Defence Development Plan 2017-2026 as well as country’s commitments to NATO. ‘When developing national defence, it is important that comprehensive capabilities are achieved, which requires thorough planning well in advance. The placement of each euro is very precisely thought out’ said Estonian Minister of Defence, Jüri Luik. We need to continue to develop the military structures of the Defence Forces, in the form of additional defensive capability as well as greater firepower. We must equip our reserve army with more powerful equipment for carrying out military operations and better protecting combatants he added.
Most of Estonian MoD’s budget for 2020-2023 will cover long-term implementation of the National Defence Development Plan as well as hosting of allied forces and conclusion of Defence Investment Program. In the next couple of years the Estonian MoD’s will focus on improvement of soldier’s personal equipment, especially by procurement of new and more effective body armour, modern rifles, machine guns and night vision equipment. Furthermore, the armed forces are to receive modern anti-tank systems as well as new command, control and communication systems.
Additionally, the MoD envisions that army’s infantry brigades will develop combat engineering capabilities and strengthen their combat support systems. Furthermore, the Ministry also plans the procurement of self-propelled artillery and short-range air defence systems, which should increase firepower and operational capability of country’s 2nd Infantry Brigade.