Estonia to Purchase Turkish Armoured Vehicles, Awards $211 Million Contracts to Otokar, Nurol Makina

Defence Industry

Warsaw: The Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) has awarded contracts to Turkish manufacturers Otokar and Nurol Makina to purchase roughly 230 armoured vehicles for a total of around €200 million, or $211 million, the agency announced.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin next year as Tallinn is accelerating its military modernisation efforts in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Estonian officials said that getting new rides as soon as possible was a key factor in deciding in favour of the Turkish offerings.

“The new armoured vehicles will be acquired for the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Defence Forces, which has not previously had wheeled armoured vehicles,” the ECDI said in a statement. “Furthermore, additional armoured 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 NMS four-wheel-drive vehicles to Estonia, and Otokar will deliver its Arma six-wheel-drive 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 ordered four-wheel-drive vehicles will be operated by troops from the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades, while the six-wheel-drive vehicles will be delivered to the 2nd Infantry Brigade, according to the statement.

The supplied vehicles are to be fitted with 12.7 mm 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 ECDI, said that nine companies from six countries submitted their bids in the contest. In an earlier statement, the Estonian institution did not disclose the names of all of the involved companies, but said 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 ECDI.