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The Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI) is currently determining which candidate will emerge from its recent 4×4 armoured vehicle trials to be selected to equip the Estonian Land Forces.

The ECDI announced toward the end of April 2023 that, having initially evaluated armoured 4×4 candidates from Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Israel, Spain and Turkey, it had moved to the final stage of the project with four platforms: the Otokar Cobra II, the BMC Amazon, and the NMS and Ejder Yalcin from Nurol Makina.

An Otokar Cobra II being put through its paces by the ECDI. (ECDI)

These vehicles have then been trialled at a location near Tapa, northern Estonia, where the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) have a substantial base, so that the capabilities of the 4×4s could be demonstrated negotiating various obstacles – such as water, slopes, and ascents – and consequently assessed against EDF requirements.

After evaluating the results of the trials and conducting final negotiations with a winning contender, a procurement contract is scheduled to be signed in the second quarter of this year.

As a result, the Land Forces’ 1st and 2nd Brigades will receive armoured vehicles within approximately two years, the ECDI stated in a press release.

“The main aim of the procurement is to arm the 2nd Brigade and for that we will need to deliver over 200 vehicles in both 6×6 and 4×4,” Karmo Saar, the ECDI’s Air Force, Navy and Armoured Equipment Category Manager, told ESD on 18 May. “Both the tenders for 6×6 and 4×4 are still ongoing and the results are not yet decided,” he added.

Peter Felstead