Estonia to Buy US Rocket System 12/04 10:34
HELSINKI (AP) -- NATO member and Russia's neighbor Estonia is boosting its
defense capabilities by acquiring an advanced U.S. rocket artillery system in
the Baltic country's largest arms procurement project ever, defense officials
The deal signed Friday for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is
worth more than $200 million and includes equipment such as ammunition and
rockets, as well as training.
The package includes HIMARS rockets with ranges of 70-300 kilometers (43-186
miles), the Estonian Center for Defense Investment said in a statement.
Lockheed Martin Corp. is expected to make the first deliveries in 2024.
Estonian officials didn't disclose the number of rocket launchers but local
media outlets said the purchase consists of six HIMARS.
"The HIMARS multiple rocket launchers are a new important step in the
development of Estonia's defense capabilities," Lt. Col. Kaarel Mesalu, head
of the capability development department at the Estonian Defense Forces said in
a statement. "This makes it possible to decisively influence the enemy even
before coming into contact with our infantry units."
Estonia's Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania either have or are currently
in the process of acquiring their own HIMARS.
Washington has provided Ukraine with the rocket launchers during Russia's
invasion of the country. The Estonian Defense Ministry said the HIMARS systems
"have helped to destroy Russian military ammunition warehouses, transport
nodes, and command and control centers with pinpoint accuracy beyond the range
of the howitzers Ukraine has been using."