“We are requesting a little less than 200 million euros by 2025 to strengthen air defense in the region with our allies. All signs point to the next [U.S.] The government is not changing its position on this issue – in order to strengthen the protection of European allies if they themselves contribute, “said the Chancellor of the Ministry of Defense, Kristjan Prikk, on Monday to Vikerraadios” Välistund “.
He said that while who the next president is is very important to US foreign policy, the US Congress plays a crucial role in funding decisions in American politics. “Congress really has support in funding well-functioning allies and there is no sign of this changing. We are in good contact with both practice and funding on air defense,” said Prikk.
The Ministry of Defense Chancellor said that medium-range air defense was seen as one of the weakest points in Estonia’s security. At the same time, air defense is an area where too much dependence on one or the other element can lead to a biased result. It is for this reason that the multilayered nature of air defense is being discussed, in which short-, medium- and long-range defenses play a crucial role, explained Prikk.
“We have to take into account that we need different defense systems for the attacking systems of the enemy,” added the Chancellor.
Prikk said it would cost over EUR 200 million to develop a medium-range, minimum capacity air defense system, and operate it all year round for around a tenth of the cost.
“We speak of a lot of activity when we speak of cooperation with the US. We must first improve and strengthen the existing systems by developing sensors and management systems – additional radars and communication and management systems. And then we will create the option to be able to do this. ” Use allied medium and long-range air defense systems in this region and connect them to our military systems, “Prikk said.
He explained that this would not mean additional allied bases in Estonia, but that communication and management systems have to be developed that are able to share information with allies in such a way that they can do something, such as implementing air defense systems Patriot or NASAMS.
“Let’s not forget that this is a system that covers all of NATO and that also has allied aircraft connected to it, which may be quite a long way from our territory. You need information about what is going on in our airspace, to make decisions about guarding our airspace, “said the Chancellor of the Defense Ministry.
Prikk also noted that Estonia had previously received similar assistance, including a EUR 50 million loan a few years ago. The national budget for next year has allocated 645 million euros for national defense, which corresponds to 2.3 percent of the total GDP.
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