During his two-day visit to Germany, Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet visited local defence industry companies Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), and met with Jean Delbecq, Airbus VP Europe.
‘Estonian defence industry companies currently find themselves in a rapid phase of development and are actively seeking cooperation opportunities in foreign markets. The strengths and competitive advantages of our companies lie in the development of military robotics and autonomous systems, cyber defence, surveillance equipment, and the development of innovative solutions based on artificial intelligence. This has also been proven by the recent success of the Estonian defence industry in receiving funding from the European Defence Fund’s pilot programme EDIDP,’ noted Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet.
At the meeting with representatives from KMW, opportunities for using the strengths of companies located in different countries in large development programmes with a pan-European scope were discussed. KMW recently acquired a substantial stake in the Estonian robotics company Milrem Robotics, with which KMW is hoping to gain additional expertise in creating autonomous military systems, while Milrem will be presented with the opportunity to participate in the development of various major defence industry projects.
Minister Laanet and representatives from Airbus discussed possibilities for rapidly developing Estonian defence and space industry companies, which are engaged in developing niche and evolving capabilities, to cooperate more closely with large European defence industry companies.
‘Estonia’s innovative defence cooperation cluster is a worthy partner for large companies such as Airbus,’ said Laanet.
Today, Minister of Defence Laanet also met with Lieutenant General Erich Pfeffer, Commander of Bundeswehr Operations Command, with whom new opportunities for Estonian-German co-operation on international foreign missions were discussed. A memorial to the Forest of Remembrance (Der Wald der Erinnerung) near Potsdam, dedicated to members of the Bundeswehr who have died during foreign missions, was also visited.
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