WARSAW, Poland — The Estonian Centre for Defence Investments has awarded contracts to Turkish manufacturers Otokar and Nurol Makina to purchase roughly 230 armored vehicles for a total of about €200 million (U.S. $211 million), the agency announced.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin next year as Estonia accelerates its military modernization efforts in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Estonian officials said getting new rides as soon as possible was a key factor in deciding in favor of the Turkish offerings.
“The new armored vehicles will be acquired for the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Defence Forces, which has not previously had wheeled armored vehicles,” the Estonian center said in a statement. “Furthermore, additional armored vehicles will be purchased for the 1st Infantry Brigade and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of the Estonian Rescue Board.”
Nurol Makina will supply its four-wheel drive NMS vehicles to Estonia, and Otokar will deliver its six-wheel drive Arma vehicles.
In a statement, Otokar said its contract is worth about €130 million, including maintenance, equipment and training, with deliveries of the vehicles “planned to be initiated in the second half of 2024 and completed by 2025.”
Under the plan, the 1st and 2nd infantry brigades will operate the four-wheel drive vehicles, while the 2nd Infantry Brigade will receive the six-wheel drive vehicles, according to the statement.
The vehicles are to be fitted with 12.7mm heavy machine guns and smoke grenade launchers, among other systems, the Estonian agency said.
Karmo Saar, the category manager for air, sea and combat vehicles at the Estonian center, said that nine companies from six countries submitted bids in the contest.
In an earlier statement, the Estonian institution did not disclose the names of all of the involved companies, but did say that, in addition to Turkey, the bidders are based in Finland, France, Italy, Israel and Spain.
The signed contracts have a duration of 10 years and provide Estonia with an option to acquire additional vehicles and spare parts, according to the center.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.