Finland and Estonia will integrate their coastal missile defense which would allow the countries to close the Gulf of Finland to Russian warships if necessary, Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform). The integration of missile defense systems will make it possible to close the Gulf of Finland to Russian warships. Estonia will buy Israeli Blue Spear land-to-sea missiles this autumn, which have a range of 290 kilometers. Finland’s MTO 85M (Saab RBS 15) anti-ship missile have a range of over 100 kilometers. At the Gulf of Finland’s narrowest point, there are 52 kilometers of sea between the two countries and 120km at its widest.
The Baltic Sea will be NATO’s internal sea when Finland and Sweden have joined NATO. Compared with what it is today, the situation is changing. Finland and Estonia need to integrate their coastal defenses. The flight range of Estonian and Finnish missiles is greater than the width of the Gulf of Finland. This means that both countrycan connect their missile defenses and share all our information with each other. Finland and Estonia also will integrate air defense system. Finnish airspace cannot be protected if Estonian airspace is not protected at the same time, and vice versa. Fighter jets cross the 80-kilometer-wide Gulf of Finland in minutes.
Gabriel is a family of sea skimming anti-ship missiles manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The initial variant of the missile was developed in the 1960s in response to the needs of the Israeli Navy which first deployed it in 1970. Since then, variants have been exported to navies around the world. In 2020, Israel’s IAI and Singapore’s ST Engineering started a 50/50 joint venture company called Proteus Advanced Systems to develop, produce and market a derivative of the Gabriel V called the Blue Spear missile system (Blue Spear). In October 2021, it was announced that the Estonian Defence Forces purchased the Blue Spear missile system.
The RBS 15 (Robotsystem 15) is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface anti-ship missile. The later version Mk. III has the ability to attack land targets as well. The missile was developed by the Swedish company Saab Bofors Dynamics. The Finnish Navy operates RBS 15SF-III (Mk. IIs, designation MTO 85) that have undergone various upgrades during their lifetime. The missiles are carried by the Hamina-class missile boats and the Rauma-class missile boats. Finland also operates the missiles from Sisu trucks for mobile coastal defense. Finnish truck maker Sisu produces missile launch trucks for RBS 15. The Mk. III has been in production since 2004.