Allied Contribution

Allied Contribution

Allied Contribution to Estonia's Defence as a Foreign Investment

Estonia’s national defence and deterrence posture is based on two pillars: independent defence capability, i.e. our own capabilities that are being developed, and NATO collective defence, i.e. the knowing that we are not alone in defending the country.

The collective defence agreement is, alongside confirmation of belonging to a common sphere of values, a method to ensure Estonia’s access to military capabilities which we would be unable to acquire on our own. Estonia has consistently worked to ensure the highest possible level of Allied support for our national defence, as confirmed by the Allied battalion stationed at Tapa, Allied aircraft guarding Estonian airspace, and many other forms of cooperation.

Number of Permanently Rotating Allied Forces in Estonia

The military presence of NATO in Estonia is the new normal of today, which, on the one hand, conveys a strong political signal, while also serving as an actual deterrent to any possible type of aggression.

Number of Permanently Rotating Allied Forces in Estonia

Number of Fighter Aircraft Patrolling the Estonian Airspace

One part of NATO’s collective defence principle is the understanding of a common airspace for member states and, when necessary, the defence of that space.

Since 2004, the airspace of the Baltic countries has been secured by a NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission aircraft based in Siauliai, Lithuania, and, since May 1, 2014 by aircarft based at Ämari Air Base, in Estonia.

  • 2004 (Šiauliai)

  • 2005–2014 (Šiauliai)

  • Since 2014 (Šiauliai and Ämari)

Development of NATO NSIP Project Financing in Estonia

The NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) is one of three budgets jointly funded by the Allies, alongside the military and civilian budget. The purpose of the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) is to make infrastructure investments. In Estonia investments have been made to Ämari Air Base; the NATO Force Integration Unit, in Tallinn; the NATO Cyber Range; the Tapa military camp; and the Defence Forces central training area. The amount of funding received by Estonia for use in infrastructure investments under this programme exceeds, Estonia’s contributions to NATO’s jointly funded budgets.

In 2019, Estonia received additional funds from the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) for the development of national defence in an amount exceeding EUR 19 million. Larger investments are earmarked for improving staging facilities at Tapa, and for increasing training opportunities at the central training area. In 2019, the area within the government of the Ministry of Defence has a total of EUR 606 million (including foreign aid) at its disposal.

Development of NATO NSIP Project Financing in Estonia | million euros per year

USA Military Aid to Estonia

The United States has supported various defence related developments in Estonia, over the last four years financial support for various procurements and infrastructure projects has totalled USD 228 million. Estonia’s goal is to use US aid to eliminate critical capability deficiencies in its long-term development plans. The money is primarily being used to replenish stocks of large calibre ammunition.

USA Military Aid to Estonia | million dollars per year

Number of Active Servicemembers Serving in International Operations

Collective defence is of critical importance to Estonia’s security and we must also make our own contribution to the functioning thereof. Collective defence means not only receiving security based assistance, but also Estonia contributing as a provider of security. Estonian troops have been participating in international operations since 1995, when they took part in the in UN peacekeeping mission to Croatia. Our troops received their first combat experience in Iraq, in 2003.

Participation in international military operations is also essential to the development of the Defence Forces. Participation in operations allows one to test and thereby systematically develop interoperability (including with Allies in an international environment), know-how and compatibility between different capabilities.

The largest numerical contribution by the Defence Forces was in Afghanistan, as part of the NATO-led operation ISAF in Southern Afghanistan, until 2014. In 2018 and 2019, the UN peacekeeping mission UNIFIL, in Lebanon; the NATO-led training and advisory mission Resolute Support, in Afghanistan; and the French-led counter-insurgency operation Barkhane were the active military operations to which the Defence Forces contributed the most troops.

Number of Active Servicemembers Serving in International Operations

* The average number of servicemen participating in international operations annually. The increase in the number of active personnel participating in international operations in 2019 is due to the change in the rotation length of several international operations from 6 months to 4 months.

Estonian Defence Forces' Participation in International Exercises

As a member of the NATO, our troops also participate in international exercises in Estonia as well as abroad. The lead role played by the Estonian Navy in raising the anti-mine competence of our Allies deserves special highlighting within the framework of international training and cooperation.

Estonian Defence Forces’ Participation in International Exercises