The four-year National Defence Action Plan for the period of 2019-2022 ensures that funds for national defence are being used to develop battle-ready units in high readiness, on the basis of a reliable early warning to react in as short a time as possible to threats, together with our allies.
The Defence Action Plan ensures financing for all of the large-scale developments set forth in the previous Action Plan:
-- The replacement of small arms
-- The continuation of large-scale ammunition procurements
-- The acquisition of night vision equipment, as well as body armour and flak jackets
-- Completion of the 1st Infantry Brigade’s IFV CV90 programme and the acquisition of 6 K9 Thunder self-propelled artillery units
-- Acquisition of transportation for the 2nd Infantry Brigade and the territorial defence units
-- The equipping of 6 new Defence League territorial defence companies
-- The acquisition of training simulation aids equipment
-- Ensuring the mobility of air surveillance radar systems
-- Development of an air operations command centre
-- Development of sea surveillance
-- Modernisation of minehunters
In addition, the Action Plan calls for:
-- The development of the logistics and engineer capabilities of infantry brigades
-- The creation of an interoperable command and communications capability with our allies
-- The acquisition of additional self-propelled artillery for the 1st infantry brigade
-- The acquisition of air defence radar for the 2nd Infantry Brigade
-- Supplying the battalions of the 2nd Infantry Brigade with medical kits
-- Creating a sea communications capability that meets NATO requirements
In 2022, the Estonian Defence Forces:
-- Will be equipped with modern communications and control systems
-- Will have switched over to modern anti-tank systems
-- Will see the composition of the 1st Infantry Brigade include 3 armoured battalions (one with IFVs and two with wheeled APCs)
-- The 2nd Infantry Brigade can be mobilised more rapidly and has greater mobility
-- 6 light infantry companies will have been added to the significantly more mobile 4 battalions of the territorial defence structure of the Defence League
-- The 2nd Infantry Brigade's air defence is significantly more efficient
-- Air surveillance has greater mobility and survivability
-- Sea communication and awareness of the state of the sea, meeting wartime needs and allowing for the sea-based support of Allies, have been developed
Defence Forces soldiers:
-- Will be better protected (body armour and flak jackets)
-- Will be equipped with modern small arms
-- Will have significantly improved night-time situational awareness
Infrastructure by 2022:
-- Construction completed on a joint complex centre of medical disaster of Non-commissioned Officers’ School and Estonian National Defence College in Tartu
-- Construction completed on barracks for active servicemen at the Tapa base
-- Construction completed on additional ammunition depots
-- Continuation of the development of Defence Forces training grounds
Increase in the number of active service members:
Regardless of the fact that there are more active servicemen in the Defence Forces than at any other point in history following the restoration of Estonia’s independence, the current pay levels have not permitted for the level of growth intended in the National Defence Development Plan.
Following the expected discontinuation of special pensions for active servicemen entering service starting in 2020 the question of salary will become even more important during recruitment. Based on that, one of the topics at the centre of the Action Plan is improving the pay position of active servicemen.
Development of military capabilities
In order to develop military cyber defence and the command capability of the Defence Forces, there are plans to establish a Cyber Command on the basis of the Signals and Headquarters Battalion, in which the cyber competencies of all authorities within the area of government will be consolidated.
Over a period of four years, the financing of the Defence League’s activities will grow, including the continued implementation of a patriotic education programme, resources will be set aside for the recruitment of additional personnel arising from the increase in the activity of the Defence League, and the financing of the Defence League's infrastructure will be increased.
We will continue to focus a great deal of attention on the intelligence and early warning fields as part of the development of national defence, within the framework of the Action Plan we will be making extensive investments in the various military intelligence capabilities within the Defence Forces and the Foreign Intelligence Service.
In order to accelerate the pace at which defence readiness is achieved, the decision was made to significantly increase investments in ammunition in comparison with the previous Action Plan. Regardless of this, the need to complement ammunition depots will remain after 2022, which is why it is important to also continue with three-year Defence Investment Programme after 2020.
In addition to the development of military defence, the Action Plan provides funding for the promotion of research and development activity, as well as support for Estonia's defence industry sector.