Development of Combat Capability

Development of Combat Capability

Development of Combat Capability

The combat capability of units is assessed using different methodologies. NATO primarily uses the CREVAL (Combat Readiness Evaluation) method, within the framework of which assessment is carried out during combat training exercises.

The exact combat readiness rating of a unit is a state secret. It is possible, however, to present some examples regarding progress involving combat readiness.

The National Defence Development Plan 2017–2026 foresees that by 2026 the 1st Infantry Brigade will have been developed into a mechanized infantry brigade and the 2nd Infantry Brigade will have been developed into a combat capable motorized light infantry brigade. The country’s defence structure will also grow by more than 10 light infantry companies and a thousand combatants, and the upgrading of the Defence League’s infrastructure – to ensure a high level of training for volunteers – will continue.

Size of the Vehicle Fleet

Means of transport included various trucks and SUVs, special purpose vehicles and self-propelled weapon systems (combat vehicles, self-propelled artillery).

Means of transport provide units with the required speed to manoeuvre, fulfil specific tasks (combat engineering, communications equipment), and self-propelled weapon systems contribute significantly to firepower and manoeuvring.

Number of different land vehicles

Number of Armoured Units

It is the goal of the Defence Forces to mechanize the units of its ground forces and to provide greater protection to the troops. The procurement of infantry fighting vehicles has been one part of the development of the armoured manoeuvring capability of the Defence Forces of Estonia.

Nearly 30 years ago, the Defence Forces began using standard trucks lacking any protection, which were gradually replaced in 2005 with XA-180EST and XA-188EST armoured personnel carriers and armoured Unimog trucks. As of today, the Scouts Battalion – the 1st Infantry Brigade’s armoured infantry battalion – is equipped with CV9035EE heavy infantry fighting vehicles, the firepower, mobility and defence of which are world-class.

The Scouts Battalion – the 1st Infantry Brigade’s armoured infantry battalion – is equipped with heavy infantry fighting vehicles, the firepower, mobility and protection of which allow units to participate in active paced combat and to perform a counterattack against units with similar capabilities. Mechanised infantry battalions are equipped with armoured personnel carriers, which ensure the protection of infantry from smaller calibre direct firearms. Fighting by the armoured infantry battalion and the infantry brigade will begin to be supported more broadly by the armoured self-propelled artillery battalion.

Maximum Range

In terms of the planning of military operations and the completion of successful combat missions the effective range of weapon systems is of critical importance.

The anti-tank capability of Estonian Defence Forces has significantly increased with the acquisition of Javelin anti-tank missiles, and a procurement contract has also been signed for the purchasing of the long-range anti-tank system Eurospike. With the adoption of 155 mm howitzers, the maximum range of artillery increased from 15km to 24-30 km. In the next stage of development of armoured manoeuvring capability and maximum range, the plan is to acquire South-Korean made self-propelled artillery K9 Thunder.

Development of Combat Capability |

Airspace Radars

Estonia’s air surveillance system is a part of the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System and, based on the 24/7 principle, supports NATO’s general early warning and situational awareness readiness.

Airspace radar coverage is provided by three radar posts in different parts of Estonia, and, if necessary, mobile sensor systems.

  • 1998–2002

    15%

  • 2003

    70%

  • 2004–2005

    75%

  • 2006–2012

    77%

  • 2013–2014

    89%

  • 2015–...

    100%

Number of Different Simulator Systems

Simulators for weapons and weapon systems are intended to improve the training of conscripts and soldiers and to improve their weapon handling skills. In addition, the use of simulators helps to save millions of euros each year. Simulator systems range from simple to high-tech, and they include practice grenades and mines, automated target systems as well as anti-tank and air defence system simulators, etc.

Number of Simulators in Use