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Defence

Defence systems have always been a focal point for Estonia. The country has built a small but very capable defence army consisting of a professional army, conscription service, and national defence league, complimented by NATO allied forces. Over the years technology entrepreneurs and engineers have teamed up with the army to develop world-class solutions for the global defence industry. When we mean defence, we mean business.

  • 2% of GDP defence investments commitment to NATO
  • In top 10 ranking of innovators in the EU in 2021
  • #1 in Global Cybersecurity Index in the EU

Our advantages

#1in cyber security in Europe
EducationGlobal collaboration hub for academia, industry, government and military.
SkillsStrong competencies and capabilities to support global defence industry innovation.
Digital infrastructureA pioneer in establishing AI/robot law.
BlockchainWorld-class skills in high-tech systems, real-time computing and cyber security.
Cyber DefenceEstonia has a unique expertise in the R&D and management of cyber security solutions and systems.

Overview

As a small nation, the aim has always been to be agile and armed for innovation at a world-class level in all main domains such as air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. It’s a young innovation-driven nation that has quickly become among TOP10 innovators in the EU by 2021, surpassing all Eastern-European and Mediterranean countries. The total defense costs in Estonia in 2023 will be over one billion euros (2.85% of GDP). In 2024, the level of defense costs will exceed 3% of GDP.

On land, Estonia has been a pioneer in having level 4 autonomous robots on the public streets since 2017. In addition, Milrem Robotics is the first and only defence industry company in Europe to conduct remote-controlled shooting exercises from an unmanned combat vehicle.

In the air, drones have been chosen as an important field of new growth both for military and civilian applications in Estonia. The drone development center is currently being established by the government to push the boundaries of that frontier further with Estonian engineering talent. Eli drones have been used to monitor and protect the European Union’s eastern border since 2018 and Threod Systems drones are the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ preferred choice of technology provider for near-field intelligence collection and precision targeting.

On the sea, the pioneer of marine radio communications and rapid reconfiguration capability Cybernetica has delivered state-of-the-art marine radio communication, marine aids, and navigation systems across the world for two decades. In 2018 they partnered with European Defense Agency for the first-ever military research programme for a next-generation naval surveillance system. Baltic Workboats has taken the leadership position in Europe to develop the European standard for unmanned marine vessels both civilian and military use.

In space, the Estonian defence industry is supported by the European Space Agency’s business incubation center since 2017. The largest blockchain company in the world Guardtime was awarded a contract to build European Space Agency’s space cyber security operational capability. Estonian software company Spaceit provides mission control services to satellite operators enabling an 80% reduction of a satellite mission’s budget. In addition, together with Estonian Cybexer Technologies, they have joined forces to develop a cyber defence satellite operations simulator and signed a cybersecurity contract with the European Space Agency to strengthen the rapidly growing space sector against cyberattacks.

In cyberspace, Estonia is considered as most advanced cyber security country in Europe, with its unique expertise in the research, development, and management of cyber security solutions and systems. NATO has chosen Estonia as the home of its Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and the European Union has in Estonia its European agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems (EU-LISA).

Estonia has earned a leading role to expand with NATO innovation accelerator DIANA (the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic) and participates in the contributing NATO innovation investment fund of 1B EUR with all 22 participating nations over the next 15 years.

The Tech community is complemented by the Estonian Defence and Aerospace Industry Association with strong 120 members and the Estonian National Defence Industry Policy 2021-2030 objective is to create competitive advantages in focus areas of cyber defence, autonomous and unmanned systems, robotics, AI solutions, electronic warfare and surveillance, and automation.

Defence

These websites can be useful when interested in Defence Industry in Estonia:

You are also welcome to send us a request for personal e-consulting to obtain more specific information.

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What is it like to run a business in Estonia? How to benefit from the e-solutions and the efficiency of our business culture? What are the opportunities in specific sectors? Who to partner up with?

The Estonian Investment Agency’s team is happy to help you via its complimentary e-Consulting service, organize online or offline follow-up events such as virtual investment visits and guide you through the fairly simple process of investing in Estonia.

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