UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur have agreed on a roadmap to enhance cooperation in the field of defence.      

As part of commitments made at the recent NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain, the announcement seeks to increase security across Estonia and the wider Baltic region.

The agreement will see the deployment of additional high-end capabilities from the UK to Estonia, regular deployments of high-readiness forces, and enhanced military integration between the two nations.

The UK will strengthen its enhanced forward presence (EFP ) battlegroup based in Estonia through short-range air defence and multiple launch rocket systems, among other assets.

In addition, the UK will also deploy more capabilities, including Apache and Chinook helicopters, on a regular basis to the host nation.     

The first batch of Chinook helicopters will arrive in Estonia in January 2023.

UK Defence Secretary Wallace said: “The UK’s commitment to Estonia and European defence and security is unwavering.

“The deployment of assets such as Apache and Chinook helicopters to exercise in Estonia is a clear example of the strength of our relationship, and the importance we place on our ability to effectively operate side by side.”

The UK will also appoint a brigadier to head its eFP headquarters in Estonia from April next year.

The nation will periodically deploy brigade-sized, high-readiness units to Estonia. To demonstrate their preparedness, the unit’s personnel are scheduled to hold Exercise Spring Storm in May 2023.

Pevkur said: “In the roadmap, Estonia has committed to start the development of an Estonian warfighting division, which will ensure coordinated use of national and allied forces in the defence of Estonia.

“This work will be supported by the UK, who are providing training and mentoring through an advisory team and close links with the UK’s 3rd Division.”

The host nation will also build four accommodation halls and other support facilities at Tapa Camp, which are expected to be ready by May 2023.

As part of its commitments in other domains, the UK will deploy Typhoon aircraft to provide Baltic Air Policing in Estonia from March to July 2023.