Estonia, Latvia and Finland have signed an agreement to explore the possibility of jointly developing an armoured wheeled vehicle platform.

The trilateral non-binding letter of intent (LoI) was signed by Finnish Defence Ministry Secretary-General Jukka Juusti, Estonian Defence Minister Jüri Luik, and Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks.

Under the LoI, the three countries will launch a consultation process to evaluate the feasibility of a cooperative programme to develop new armoured vehicles.

The cooperation would work on acquiring an armoured personal carrier that provides greater mobility.

In a statement, the Finland Ministry of Defence stated that the proposed platform would be developed to meet the specific capability requirements of the participating countries.

The ministry said: “The development of a common vehicle platform could also provide increased value for money, interoperability and security of supply.”

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According to Estonian public broadcaster ERR News, the agreement signed on 17 December aims to acquire the armoured platforms in 2024.

Jüri Luik was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The good intentions agreement signed today is a very welcome start to a joint venture between Estonia, Latvia and Finland to procure new armoured vehicles. We agreed to carry out technical research on defence and I believe that our cooperation will bring good results.”

In another development, the Finnish Government approved the acquisition of new ammunition for the Leopard 2 battle tanks operated by the country’s armed forces.

The Defence Forces Logistics Command will purchase HE projectiles from Israel Military Industries (IMI).

The projectiles will offer enhanced firepower and are expected to be delivered in 2021.