The International Centre for Defence and Security has presented the findings of a new study to the Estonian Ministry of Defence to highlight the possibilities for bolstering air defence capabilities of the Baltic Republics.
The study stated that cooperation between Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as cooperation with NATO Allies, plays a major role to ensure air defence within the context of the Baltic region.
Findings show that the Baltic Republics are focused on developing management and communications systems that would be compatible with the Alliance ’s air defence, as well as short-range and medium-range air defence systems.
The report recommends that NATO units rotating into the region for training exercises and Enhanced Forward Presence need to be armed with short-range air defence. The Baltic Republics also need to be deployed with medium-range and long-range air defence systems as part of training exercises.
A common air picture needs to be exchanged with Finland and Sweden, and procedures should be developed and practiced in order to transition from a NATO air policing mission to an air defence mission.
Since joining NATO , the Baltic Republics have been focused on developing the Ämari, Lielvarde and Šiauliai air bases, as well as sensors, radar, communications networks and personnel.
In addition, the Baltic Republics intend to develop three independent air traffic control centres by 2020 in order to replace the current single Kaunas air traffic control centre.
In 2022, Estonia plans to bring the 2nd Infantry Brigade’s air defence to the same level as the 1st Infantry Brigade.
Between 2018 and 2022, the country also plans to invest in additional ammunition for the Mistral system within the framework of the defence investments programme.