JERUSALEM — Estonia’s military will receive the Blue Spear missile system to improve coastal defense under a new contract signed with Proteus Advanced Systems, a joint venture of Israel Aerospace Industries and ST Engineering Land Systems.
The contract was made through the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment, a military procurement organization set up by the country’s Defence Ministry.
Proteus Advanced Systems’ general manager, Ron Tryfus, said the deal is a result of a partnership established about two years ago to market the surface-to-surface missiles for coastal protection, either from land or sea, as a way to maximize each company’s foothold in the sector. Development of the missile was announced in July 2020.
“This weapon system substantially improves our coastal defense and sends a clear message that we are contributing to the regional and collective defense effort,” Defence Minister Kalle Laanet said Wednesday. “This is one of the most complex and high-tech weapon systems of all time and a huge leap forward for the Estonian Defence Forces. I am very glad that Estonia has a defense industry capable of participating in such high-tech projects.”
The commander of the Estonian Navy, Juri Saska, said the weapon system “will form the cornerstone of Estonian naval defense for decades to come.”
Tryfus and the company would not provide a contract value or a delivery timeline, and ST Engineering would not comment on the deal. However, Tryfus did say the company faces a tight time schedule to meet Estonia’s requirements.
Proteus will work with Estonian industry and subcontractors, and Tryfus expects to see more projects with the country.
Proteus Advanced Systems describes Blue Spear as an advanced precision weapon that can operate in all weather conditions at a range of up to 290 kilometers. Tryfus said the missile is an off-the-shelf weapon that can be tailored for each customer.
The missile has a smart seeker, and the company claims it is immune to GPS interference, as it operates at a high subsonic speed.
Mike Yeo in Melbourne, Australia, contributed to this report.
Seth Frantzman is the Israel correspondent for Defense News. He has been covering conflict in the Middle East since 2010. He has experience covering the international coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and he is a co-founder and executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.