TALLINN- The first set of components for the Mistral anti-aircraft missile systemsbought by Estonia was delivered to Estonia at the end of July, the Defense Ministry said.
The short range surface-to-air missile system is supplied to Estoniaby MBDA Missile Systems in collaboration with SAAB AB.
The first delivery consists of firing equipment, training missiles,imitators and testing and service equipment. A set of spare parts was alsodelivered.
The next delivery is due at the beginning of 2009.
Training for officers and NGOs of the Estonian air defense battalion will start in September. Thetraining will be provided by MBDA and SAAB instructors and will take place intwo parts, first at the Tapa air defense battalion and the second part in France.
The air defense system consists of Giraffe AMB radars, control points,communication equipment, air defense missile launchers, Mistral missiles andtraining aids.
The system is intended for the air defense of an infantry brigade, and fordefense against enemy combat helicopters and assault aircraft.
Besides, it must be able to use the system in the defense of importantnational sites, such air airfields, ports and government buildings as wellimportant events.
This is the biggest Estonianweapons procurement contract until the present. The exact cost of the system isclassified but it is above one billion kroons (EUR 6.4 mln).
The counter purchase principle was used for the first time in the airdefense system procurement.