Estonia, Latvia kick off joint procurement of Iris-T air defence missiles
Estonia and Latvia are to begin negotiations with Germany's Diehl Defence to acquiring the Iris-T SLM medium-range air defence system, it was announced on Sunday 21 May.
'I am very happy that together with Latvia we have reached the next milestone in our joint procurement for medium-range air defence. This has been a joint project of historical proportions for our defence cooperation, the largest one to date,' said Estonian Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur.
'We hope to reach contract and, subsequently, announce the official winning bidder this summer,' he added.
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The two Baltic nations signed a letter of intent for joint procurement of medium-range air defence systems in June 2022
The process has been led by the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (RKIK), which made an agreement with the country's MoD for the joint procurement in July.
'Our objective is to ensure operational medium-range air defence capabilities for Estonia by 2025, which means that the first systems should arrive in 2024,' said Pevkur.
RKIK carried out market research for potential bidders and looked at six international companies.
'For selecting the winning bidder, we looked at evaluation criteria such as the technical capacity of the system, the total cost of the system, the life cycle cost for the coming 30 years, the delivery time and the involvement of the local industry, so that Estonian and Latvian industry could also make a contribution towards the capacity development,' said Priit Soosaar, head of the communications and radar section at RKIK.
The final cost of the procurement will be determined during contract negotiations. The project also covers infrastructure, personnel, training, support equipment and other related costs.
The IRIS-T SLM is an upgraded version of the IRIS-T with an enhanced rocket motor, an aerodynamic hood for extended range, a data link and autonomous GPS/INS. Germany's BWB defence procurement agency signed a contract with Diehl to develop IRIS-T SL as a secondary missile for the German Army's future MEADS.
The full system consists of an IRIS-T SL launcher, a CEA Technologies CEAFAR radar, a tactical operations centre incorporating a Terma BMD-Flex C3 system and a Rheinmetall Skymaster battle management system.
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