New Ministry of Defence Development Plan Raises Combat Readiness and Defence Readiness
(Source: Estonia Ministry of Defence; issued Feb 01, 2019)
Minister of Defence Jüri Luik confirmed the Ministry of Defence’s development plan for the period 2020-2023.

According to Minister of Defence Luik, servicemen are at the centre of the new development plan. ‘In 2018, together with the Commander of the Defence Forces, we made the decision to raise the average salary of active servicemen from the current average of around 30% to 33% above the Estonian average,' said Luik.

The new development plan will considerably improve the command and communications capability of the Defence Forces, notably increasing the combat support capability (supplying of the combat service support and pioneer battalions of brigades) of the Defence Forces, and supplying the recently created Cyber Command.

In 2018 the Defence League formed the centre of gravity of the large-scale training Exercise Siil (Hedgehog). With more than 18,000 participants, it was the largest military training exercise following the restoration of Estonia’s independence and the second largest within NATO in 2018.

The Defence League occupies an important place within the scope of the development plan. The amount of support set aside for it will increase to EUR 43 million per year by 2023, plus additional investments in the territorial defence structure of the Defence Forces prepared on the basis of the Defence League.

Investments will continue to be made in equipment, for example, the acquisition of night vision equipment as well as bulletproof and splinter-proof vests. The replacement of firearms and machine guns, as well as man-portable anti-tank weapons, will also commence. Investments in ammunition supplies continues to occupy an important place.

By 2023, all planned self-propelled artillery units will have arrived in Estonia and long-range anti-tank systems will be acquired.

In 2019 the Air Force will be supplied with M-28 airplanes, the Navy will receive two new cutters and mobile sea surveillance radar during the planning period, to ensure the survivability of sea surveillance during wartime.

The Development Plan for the Period 2020-2023 for the Area of Government of the Ministry of Defence describes military national defence objectives and the required resources for achieving those objectives, the allocation of which proceeds from the National Development Plan for Defence for the Period 2017-2026, the military advice of the Commander of the Defence Forces, and NATO force capability objectives.

Appended is the foreword to the Ministry of Defence Development Plan 2020-2023.

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