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Estonia and Latvia look to purchase mid-range air defense from Germany

European Union and NATO members Estonia and Latvia will begin negotiations with Germany’s Diehl Defence for the purchase of a medium-range air defense system, Estonia’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

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The cost of the Iris-T SLM air defense system and additional capabilities such as infrastructure, personnel, training, and equipment, will be determined at the negotiations, which could be concluded during the summer, it added.

Estonia and Latvia will proceed joint procurement of the medium range air defence with Diehl Defence (IRIS-T). Hope to finish negotiations ASAP and to get our own MRAD operational in 2025. #StrongerTogether #EstLatCooperation

— Hanno Pevkur (@HPevkur) May 21, 2023

“Our objective is to ensure operational medium-range air defense capabilities for Estonia by 2025which means that the first systems should arrive in 2024,” Estonia’s Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said.

The purchase will be led by Estonia Centre for Defense Investment.

Last October, Estonia and Latvia were among 14 European NATO partners to sign a letter of intent to jointly procure air defense systems as Russia’s war in Ukraine highlighted shortages.

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