New Artillery Maintenance Workshop for Indirect Fire Weapons Opens in Tapa

  • 2024-04-25
  • Estonian Centre for Defence Investments

Yesterday, the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) inaugurated a new workshop in Tapa for the maintenance of indirect fire weapons, where the Estonian Defence Forces will begin servicing K9 self-propelled howitzers and 120-mm towed mortars.

Ando Voogma, North and North-eastern Portfolio Manager at ECDI, emphasized the importance of maintenance when acquiring new weapon systems. "Maintenance ensures the durability and combat readiness of the weapons," he said. "This new workshop enhances our nationwide capabilities for indirect fire weapons. We already have a storage facility for the K9 in Southern Estonia and are soon to begin construction on a maintenance and training garage in Tapa."

Previously, maintenance and repairs of indirect fire weapons were conducted within the confines of the artillery battalion's infrastructure or the other technology workshop of the Support Command, facilities that were not fully suited to the needs of self-propelled howitzers. "With this dedicated infrastructure specifically created for indirect fire weapons, operations will become more efficient and streamlined," stated Captain Tõnis Tulp from the Support Command.

He highlighted the complexity of annual maintenance for the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer, which is a precise and time-consuming process. "Technical challenges, such as replacing the turret and barrel, require specialized lifting equipment and a sufficiently tall building. This new facility is equipped to handle all these tasks," Tulp added. Approximately ten technicians, trained last year in South Korea, will staff the new repair workshop. The Estonian Defence Forces currently operate 24 K9 self-propelled howitzers, with an additional 12 expected in the coming years.

Mikk Jalak, Head of the Budgeting Department at Revlin Group, the contractor for the workshop, noted that assembling large components was a major challenge that demanded careful planning. "We are proud to contribute to our national defense," Jalak said. "We appreciate the collaboration with ECDI, the building's designer AS Reasant, and our partners."

The workshop, costing approximately 5.4 million euros including VAT and covering a net area of 1580 square meters, not only serves as a repair facility but also includes storage spaces, a wash area for self-propelled howitzers, a classroom for twenty people, a kitchen, and changing rooms.