Two Baltic NATO members, Estonia and Latvia, are all set to begin negotiations to purchase the medium-range IRIS-T SLM defense system from its German manufacturer very soon. Both countries, which border Russia, have greatly increased their defense budgets since Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February last year. Neither of the nations possess an air force… and both have to heavily rely on NATO to patrol their airspace. Deliveries of the system, manufactured by weapons maker Diehl Defence, could begin next year and possibly become operational in 2025. If the deal goes ahead, it would be the biggest defense cooperation project ever concluded between Tallin and Riga, according to the Estonian Defense Minister. The two nations hope to finalize the contract and make an official announcement by this summer. No details on the number of systems or on the price were revealed, but the Defence Minister have indicated that the purchase would cost hundreds of millions of euros.
Kallas saw off a challenge from the far-right populist EKRE party, which wants to limit the Baltic nation's exposure to the Ukraine crisis and blames the current government for Estonia's high inflation..
Credit: euronews (in English) Duration: 01:25Published