The Estonian Navy has placed an order for two force protection boats from Baltic Workboats which will aim to plug smaller gaps in the Navy’s capabilities. The main task of these patrol boats will to ensure the military protection of NATO and Partner countries’ warships visiting Estonia at sea and in ports. The vessels can also be used for intelligence missions, to identify foreign ships. The patrol boats are 18 meters long with partial ballistic protection, two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns, and “fitted for but not with” a remotely controlled weapon station.
“This is a very important contract for us at a very complicated time, and we are very grateful that the Estonian state took such a bold step and turned directly to a local builder. Orders of this type create a much-needed reference for us, allowing us to participate in defence industry procurements in other parts of the world and thereby increase Estonian exports,” said Margus Vanaselja, Chairman of the Management Board of Baltic Workboats AS.
The contract is valued at €3.9 million ($4.24 million). As a result of the contract, at least 50 people will be employed by the company until 2021 on the island of Saaremaa which has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. These vessels are also expected to strengthen the activities of the Estonian police and border guard agencies by identifying foreign ships, commanding sea units and conducting live-fire exercises and navigation training. They will be commissioned by the Estonian Navy in 2021.
Baltic Workboats AS is an Estonian shipbuilding company with shipyards in Nasva, Estonia and Tampa, Florida. Baltic Workboats has built more than 190 different sized boats and vessels for pilots, coast guards, police, fishery inspections, research institutes and several harbors. Baltic Workboats has nearly 20 years of experience in the field; previously, similar patrol boats have been ordered by the Omani police who plans to use them for port security.