Estonia Awards Contract to Proteus for Blue Spear Anti-Ship Missiles
IAI press release
ECDI announced today that it has reached an agreement for developing Estonian coastal defence capabilities and arming the defence forces with the Blue Spear (5G SSM) land-to-sea missile system.
Proteus Advanced Systems Pte. Ltd., is proud to be selected, following a tender process, to provide the Estonian Defence Forces with advanced anti-ship missile systems.
The project, with tight timescales and encompassing a complex set of requirements, is one of the biggest projects in Estonian defence procurement and definitely the most complex.
Asko Kivinuk the Strategic Category Manager for maritime defence systems said:
“I am pleased with our team for managing to stay in the given time frame and keeping the tender competitive up till the very end. The award was based on several evaluation criteria including total cost of ownership, involvement of local industry and on the delivery time.”
Hand in hand with the new capability development in maritime domain, the contract provides opportunities for the Estonian defence industry.
Minister of Defence of Estonia said:
“This weapon system substantially improves our coastal defence and sends a clear message that we are contributing to the regional and collective defence effort. This is one of the most complex and high-tech weapon systems of all time and a huge leap forward for the Estonian Defence Forces. I am very glad that Estonia has a defence industry capable of participating in such high-tech projects.”
Commander of the Estonian Navy commodore Jüri Saska added:
“The chosen weapon system will form the cornerstone of Estonian naval defence for decades to come. Estonian Navy will be able to contribute significantly both to national, regional and collective defence effort.”
“We are proud to be selected to equip the Estonian Defence Forces with the advanced Blue Spear missiles. We greatly value this opportunity and look forward to deepen our cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces. This is a very advanced, operational proven system, leading the sea battlefield by its capabilities and based on IAI’s many years of experience in the field of missiles, particularly with the Gabriel missile family. The strong cooperation of IAI and ST Engineering expresses the capabilities of the two companies in developing advanced battle systems. The Blue Spear system, being the advanced member of the Gabriel missile heritage, will serve as the next generation of surface to surface missile systems.” said Proteus Advanced Systems’ General Manager, Ron Tryfus.
The Blue Spear missile system is an advanced precision weapon which can operate at all weather conditions, day and night and enables strike capabilities beyond the line of sight, against mobile and stationary targets at sea. The missile’s maximum range is 290km. Blue Spear missiles shares a heritage with IAI’s Gabriel missile family system which has been developed over many years.
The Blue Spear system enables launching from several land-based platforms with flight at high sub-sonic speed. The warhead employs an active radar-homing seeker, accurate INS-based navigation capabilities and a robust system which is immune to GPS disruptions and maximal accuracy target acquisition. The systems are equipped with a variety of deception means to achieve its mission and cope with the different battle-field challenges.
Naval News comments:
The Blue Spear missile looks similar in shape to the Sea Serpent anti-ship missiles being pitched by IAI and Thales UK to the Royal Navy for the SSGW requirement. Speaking to Naval News at DSEI 2021, Maritime Director of IAI UK, Malcolm McKenzie, said that there has obviously been a parallel development path with other missile systems in the IAI portfolio such as the Gabriel V (which looks quite different) selected by the Finnish Navy as well as the Blue Spear being developed with ST Engineering for the Republic of Singapore Navy. But Sea Serpent is specifically designed to meet the threats that the Royal Navy will face.