The Estonian Defence Minister Sven Mikser and the Dutch Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert signed a memorandum of joint intent with regard to using the CV90 vehicles in the Estonian Defence Forces, with the militaries of the two countries exchanging information on mechanised unit training, tactics, ammunition and training areas. The procurement contract for 44 CV90s, currently used by the Netherland’s armed forces, and auxiliary vehicles is to be signed this year, expected to be completed in December.
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert announced during her visit to Estonia last week that defence cooperation between the two countries will be strengthened. Among other things, Dutch troops will take part in the next Estonian Independence Day parade and hold joint exercises with the Scoutsbattalion.
Mikser said that the Netherlands had a clear desire to further strengthen defence cooperation with Estonia. Among other things, the Netherlands is sending a naval squadron to visit Estonia, is contributing to Baltic Air Policing, and sending infantry fighting vehicles to Estonia.
"Such cooperation has such a great political and practical importance – having common armoured vehicles, we can work closely with the Netherlands in maintaining, repairing and training for these vehicles," Mikser said.
Estonian-Dutch defence cooperation has mainly been focused on procurement. Since 2004, Estonia has acquired over 1,100 lightly used and well-maintained trucks and jeeps, some 500 trailers and staff containers and 81 SISU XA-188 armoured personnel carriers.
Dutch F-16s have also taken part in Baltic Air Policing. In the second half of October, Estonia will be visited by a naval squadron from the Netherlands consisting of a submarine, frigate, patrol boat and two auxiliaries.