Eesti Elu
Estonia’s high-tech moxie also serves military market
Arvamus 06 Oct 2011  Eesti Elu
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Estonia has gained the reputation of the little country where IT innovations have left noticeable footprint internationally, where e-banking and e-government have been taken for granted for years, where the vanguard of cyber-war defence is based..

To be a player in a highly competitive world marketplace Estonia must use its talents and experience in high tech advances astutely. The military market has needs. Estonia knows how to satisfy some of them.

To many, United Armaments International may conjure up a typical manufacturer of rockets and tanks. In fact it offers state-of-the-art solutions in military training, military simulation, fine mechanical and electronics measuring, counter-IED (improvised explosive devices, the remote controlled hidden roadside bombs that have killed hundreds of Western troops), electronic warfare and surveillance. One can see that these specialities obviously complement Estonia’s cutting edge of IT applications.

Being the first country to be the target of a concentrated and co-ordinated foreign cyber attack in 2007 (during the relocation of a Soviet monument) Estonia was expected to be among the countries leading in a cyber defence effort. United Armaments recognized that cyberspace is an integral part of the modern battlefield with a large-scale offensive against multiple targets. The company offers a cyber-security team of experts who have successfully found solutions for defending private firms, conducted sophisticated penetration testing activities, installed state-of-the-art security architecture and organized real-time emergency responses to cyber attacks against private and public interests.

The training and simulation sector of United Armaments aptly suits the current austerity measures adopted by most governments, measures that have surely affected defence ministries’ budgets worldwide. The products range from robust and reliable target sets to highly complex and custom-designed military simulation systems. The weapon simulation systems have patented recoil mechanisms making their firing totally realistic. Both battlefield and individual weapon simulation are attractive not only for their effectiveness but their cost-effectiveness. Virtual but realistic simulations are a fraction of the cost if measured by spent ammunition/ordinance alone.

United Armaments also include battle-tested counter-IED devices that are known to successfully detect and jam improvised explosive devices. Several other electronic warfare applications are also offered.

The company is in its infancy. Founded in 2009, United Armaments International’s aim was to combine the activities of several manufacturers of military equipment in Estonia. Already clients have submitted orders from more than 25 countries. These include its neighbours, the U.S., India and Estonia itself.

Estonia has had its share of criticism for participating in U.N. and NATO-sanctioned peace-keeping and combat assignments in the Balkans and Afganistan. Some home-grown cynics even decry the existence of a defence force. The country knows that it cannot mount a sustained defence against a vastly superior aggressor. But Estonia’s recent past, instinctively demands that it must demonstrate its capability of mustering at least a gutsy and logistically fined-tuned, albeit limited response. Observers claim that otherwise its allies might not scramble to its defence as set out in agreements. It cannot afford to sit on the military sidelines.
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