Estonian defense industry association signs cooperation agreement with Ukraine

  • 2024-01-11
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian Defense and Aerospace Industry Association signed a cooperation agreement with the Ukrainian Ministry of Strategic Industries on Thursday.

The signing of the agreement marks the continuation and expansion of the successful ongoing cooperation, through which Estonian defense industry companies have been contributing to the development of Ukraine's defense capabilities.

Ten Estonian defense industry companies already operate in Ukraine, providing a range of capabilities, from sensors and observation equipment to unmanned platforms and field hospitals. In cooperation with the Ukrainian armed forces, more than 40 different positions have been developed, taking into account Ukraine's specific needs and requirements.

"A delegation of the Estonian Defense and Aerospace Industry Association participated in the defense industry forum held in Kyiv in September 2023, resulting in the signing of a memorandum of understanding. Its main aim is to establish a strong framework for the development of common defense industry capabilities," CEO of the association Kalev Koidumae said.

Koidumae emphasized that this cooperation is aimed not only at helping Ukraine defend itself against external threats but also at allowing Estonian companies to receive feedback on their products and gain strong references for the future.

Previous cooperation with Ukraine has taken place directly with subunits or through international partners. The new agreement provides direct access for Estonian defense industry to Ukrainian state institutions, strengthening bilateral relations. The signed agreement covers both technology development and its transfer. This opens doors for better access to Ukrainian defense industry partners.

Taavi Veskimae, chairman of the Defense and Aerospace Industry Association, said that this cooperation provides an opportunity for the Estonian defense industry to strengthen relations with Ukrainian defense industries through product development, testing, and real-life combat conditions.

"This, in turn, creates strong references for Estonian defense industry products, which are essential for future marketing both domestically and internationally. This is an important step that allows both parties to share experiences, knowledge, and enhance mutual security and resilience," Veskimae added.

Created in February 2009, The Estonian Defense and Aerospace Industry Association brings together over a hundred companies covering all significant defense industry areas. The association's goal is to create better opportunities in the market of defense-purpose services and goods for its member companies and to be a strategic partner for the Estonian state, thereby strengthening Estonia's defense capabilities and contributing to economic development.