Commander of Estonian Defence Forces, Major General Riho Terras said today after meeting with the Commanding Officers of the Netherlands’ naval squadron, currently in Estonia, that training with antiballistic missile armed vessels is one of the most important developments for naval exercises conducted in Estonian waters and demonstrates that our Allies are prepared to bring ships here that can significantly augment Estonia’s air defence.
“Air defence is an area where we need support from our Allies and we need to make such exercises by these types of forces to become more frequent,” Terras said, and stressed that it was imperative that crews of Allied vessels with different capabilities understand and know how to manoeuvre in our waters. “Well trained Allied forces ensure quick response if the need arises,” Terras added.
This morning four ships from the Netherlands’ naval squadron, the Estonian navy mine hunter Admiral Cowan as well as Air Force units conducted a joint anti-aircraft exercise and trained naval cooperation near the island of Naissaar in Estonian waters.
The air-defence and command frigate Evertsen has an antiballistic missile system on board. She also carries machine guns, rockets and torpedoes as well as a NH-90 helicopter. The ship’s tonnage (with full ballast) is 6050 tons, length 144.24 meters, width 18.80 meters, draught 5.18 meters and a maximum speed at 28 knots. The ship has a compliment of nearly 200 personnel.
The submarine Bruinvis, also part of the naval squadron, is one of the Netherland’s four submarines that has the capability of being utilized in both naval warfare as well as reconnaissance operations. The ship is armed with torpedoes. Its tonnage is approx. 1500 tons, length 79.5 meters, width 7.8 meters with speeds of 14.5 knots above water and 17 knots below water. The vessel’s compliment consists of 67 individuals.
The naval squadron, in Tallinn for the weekend, also includes the support ship Amsterdam and the patrol ship Zeeland. In addition to the regular compliment of naval personnel, 60 Dutch naval cadets on their seamanship training also took part in the exercise.
Reserve officers from the naval division of the Estonian Defence League’s Tallinn section have volunteered as liaison officers. The main assignment for the liaison officers is to support the visiting personnel with a smooth transition and to assist the exercise as well as guide the visitors in the city area.
Source / Author: Estonian Defence Forces
Photo: Estonian Defence Forces