The Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) has signed contracts with Nurol Makina and Otokar companies tto supply the Estonian Defence Forces with around 230 wheeled armoured vehicles. Additionally, four wheeled armoured vehicles have been purchased for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of the Estonian Rescue Board. These armoured vehicles are intended to safeguard the members of the Defence Forces in combat situations, ensuring their rapid and secure deployment on the battlefield. The new armoured vehicles will be acquired for the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Defence Forces, which has not previously had wheeled armoured vehicles. Furthermore, additional armoured vehicles will be purchased for the 1st Infantry Brigade and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of the Estonian Rescue Board.
Karmo Saar, Category Manager for Air, Sea, and Combat Vehicles at the ECDI said,”The protection of Estonian soldiers in dangerous situations is our top priority. Given the current security situation, we emphasized in the procurement terms and conditions that the vehicles should arrive in Estonia as early as possible.This was an extensive and technically complex procurement with extremely intense competition, involving a total of nine companies from six countries. The procurement was structured so that the armoured vehicles had to meet our technical requirements and quality standards, and the best bids were selected based on the fastest delivery time and price. The successful bids were submitted by Turkish companies Nurol Makina and Otokar, which have extensive experience in building armoured vehicles.”
The procured armoured vehicles are divided into two categories: 4×4 armoured vehicles, which will be used by smaller teams in both the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades, and 6×6 armoured vehicles, which will serve as armoured personnel carriers in the 2nd Infantry Brigade. The 4×4 armoured vehicles are of the NMS model, to be supplied by Nurol Makina, while the 6×6 armoured vehicles are the Arma model, to be supplied by Otokar. The first armoured vehicles are expected to arrive in Estonia in 2024. The new armoured vehicles will be adapted to the specific needs of the Defence Forces and certified for protection against both small arms fire and mine blasts. For security purposes, the vehicles are equipped with a smoke grenade launcher and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun mounted on the roof turret of the vehicle.
The contracts for the wheeled armoured vehicles have a duration of ten years and allow for additional armoured vehicle and spare parts purchases if necessary. The estimated cost of the procurement is approximately 200 million euros, which includes the vehicles, documentation, training, special tools and equipment and spare parts. These contracts can also be used to request services for the maintenance, repairs, and development of the vehicles. In addition to the procurement contracts, Estonian Minister of Defence H.E. Mr Hanno Pevkur and Turkish Minister of Defence H.E. Mr Ya?ar Güler signed a Letter of Intent, establishing the basis for defence industry cooperation between the two countries. Additionally, an agreement for cooperation was signed between the ECDI and the Turkish Defence Industry Agency to ensure secure supplies of armoured vehicle-related materials and services, as well as the joint organization of training and development activities.