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Launch of the EML Roland and EML Risto.  Source: mil.ee

 

The Estonian Navy (Merevägi) took delivery of two new, Saaremaa-built force protection vessels, the first ships built to order for the navy since the restoration of independence in 1991.


A launch ceremony took place on December 10, at Nasva Harbor, Saaremaa, to mark the official handover of the two vessels, the ENS Risto and the ENS Roland, built by Baltic Workboats AS (BWB), to the navy.


The ships have a "godmother" each, Henrieth Kampmann and Meribell Rüüte, from the Kodutütred, the girls' arm of the volunteer Defense League.


Defense minister Jüri Luik (Isamaa) said via a National Defence Investments Centre (RKIK) press release that: "I am confident that the islanders' boats are among the best in their class in the world, and it is vital that one of the navy's critical capability gaps has now been filled.

 

It is also significant that the procurement of the boats helps to support Estonian business at a very critical economic time."


Luik said the two vessels, which are due to enter service in 2021, came at an optimal price (€3.9 million in total) and were state-of-the-art, being also suitable for use in civil crises if necessary.


Estonia as a NATO member has a duty to ensure protection for visiting alliance warships, both in "blue water" and "green water" naval scenarios.

 

Smaller craft such as the new ships, full-crewed and with compatible communications and small caliber armaments, are ideal for this purpose, the RKIK says.

 

VES/ERR News

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