The Estonian government approved on Thursday of the plan to buy infantry battle vehicles CV90 and support vehicles from the Netherlands and gave Defence Minister Sven Mikser powers to sign the purchase contract with the Netherlands, Postimees Online reports.
The procurement contract will be concluded on December 9 in Holland. Its cost was not yet revealed.
Estonia will acquire from the Netherlands 44 infantry battle machines CV90 and non-armed support vehicles based on the tanks Leopard 1 and jointly with the Netherlands equipment, spare parts, tools, documentation and ammunition for the vehicles.
Estonian Defence Minister Sven Mikser said that this will be the biggest defence procurement for Estonia in all times. "Infantry battle vehicles will bring the fighting capability of the Estonian Defence Forces to a new level," he said. "Along with the self-propelled artillery and the acquisition of anti-tank missile systems Javelin that was recently completed, it is one of the three main priorities of the state defence development plan."
The 44 battle machines will be used by the Scoutsbattalion unit of professional military.
The CV90s will reach Estonia gradually in 2016-2018. The vehicles are used but relatively new and pass regular maintenance in Holland. The Dutch military will also provide training.
Mikser and the Defence Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert signed the Agreement of Intent on the infantry battle vehicles CV90 to be acquired from the Netherlands in September.