Estonia to buy missiles, air defense system in EUR50M deal

TALLINN, Estonia — Estonia says it has agreed to buy a short-range air defense system complete with Mistral surface-to-air missiles from MBDA Missile Systems, a major 50 million euro ($59 million) military deal for the small Baltic country.

Tuesday's contract by Estonia's state defense investment agency and the pan-European armaments and missile manufacturer also includes training missiles, simulators, testing and maintenance equipment for delivery starting in 2020.

The agreement includes an option for Estonia to acquire additional Mistral missiles worth up to 100 million euros.

Like its Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania, NATO-member Estonia has sought in the past few years to build up a credible air defense capability — something the country currently lacks and is seen by experts as the weakest link in its defense strategy.

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