Estonia’s New Anti-Ship Missiles: Crucial Naval Capability and Overdue Strategic Shift to Sea

By Matthew Thomas in Security

October 29, 2021

Earlier this month, the Estonian Center for Defense Investment (ECDI) announced the purchase of Blue Spear 5G SSM land-to-sea missile systems from Israel. With a maximum range of 290 kilometers (approximately 180.2 miles), the Blue Spear missile system can reach targets across both the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea, and can also be used to strike both moving and stationary targets at sea in all weather conditions, day or night.

Baltic Sea Security Conference 2020

By BSF Team in Conferences

November 3, 2020

Baltic Sea Security Conference to deal with fragmented security approaches Baltic Sea Security Conference will take place on December 3rd in Helsinki, Finland as well as online. The conference concludes the Baltic Sea Security Initiative, involving workshops, lectures and seminars on the regional aspects of military, societal, economic and cyber security. The initiative joined 150 participants, including Baltic experts from Europe, United States and Japan. The experts of the initiative will share their conclusions with top-level guest speakers from public and private sectors over several panel discussions.

Military Exercises in Kaliningrad Highlight Maritime Threats

By Matthew Thomas in Security

May 26, 2020

For eight or nine days beginning on April 20th, around the same time that NATO and Estonian forces were holding the Spring Storm Exercises, Russia held exercises of its own in the Kaliningrad Oblast’. Though not as grandiose in scale as a May 3rd article in Izvestia would suggest, the exercises do demonstrate that Russia is working to practice its maritime capabilities. The main events of the exercises centered around what may have been two amphibious landing drills and also featured anti-aircraft and anti-submarine drills, simulated naval missile attacks, simulated aerial attacks on naval vessels, and mine-laying and mine-clearing exercises.

Interoperability at Sea: Sweden and Finland

By Matthew Thomas in Security

March 12, 2020

Last week, Finland and Sweden conducted naval cooperation exercises in the Baltic Sea. Given that these two countries have a long tradition of close cooperation in military affairs, this seems fairly mundane. But these exercises were highly unusual, as Finland’s FNS Uusimaa took orders from Swedish naval command, and Sweden’s HMS Helsingborg received orders from Finland’s command center in Turku. This was the first time in the history of Finnish-Swedish naval cooperation that ships took orders from the opposite country’s command.

Improving the Baltic States’ Maritime Security

By Matthew Thomas in Security

September 25, 2019

Maritime operations have once again been a major theme of recent headlines in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Following the NATO BALTOPS exercises this summer, repeated violations of the Baltic States’ airspace by Russia, and observing current combat diving operations in Tallinn Bay, maritime security issues are particularly relevant. Unfortunately, given the long-standing emphasis on land-based deterrence, the maritime domain has largely been neglected. BALTOPS 2019 revealed a key weakness for naval operations: the shallow and largely unmarked coastline hampered amphibious landing operations in Lithuania.