Estonia enhances maritime defense with Blue Spear missile system


The Ministry of Defense of Estonia has announced its acquisition of the Blue Spear anti-ship missile system from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), marking an improvement in the country's maritime defense posture. This move is rooted in the original contract signed in 2021.
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The Blue Spear is an anti-ship missile system with the ability to strike land targets. (Picture source: Proteus Advanced Systems)


With the capability to hit targets up to 290 kilometers away, this advanced missile system strengthens Estonia's ability to protect its interests throughout the Baltic Sea, ensuring complete coverage of this strategic area. Given the Estonian Navy's lack of surface combat vessels, the missile batteries will be land-based and are expected to be truck-transported, with the launchers themselves housed in 20-foot containers.

The weapon also has a secondary land-attack capability. Although the cruise missile may be somewhat limited in its ability against hardened targets due to the warhead being optimized for the anti-ship mission, it nonetheless represents the first long-range precision fire capability for the Estonian Defense Forces.

The Blue Spear is a new generation of missiles designed to replace the Harpoon missiles currently used by several navies worldwide. First unveiled at the Singapore Airshow in 2022 by a joint venture team involving Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and ST Engineering, the joint entity known as Proteus Advanced Systems markets the Blue Spear missile as a suitable surface-to-surface weapon for congested waterways, like those found in many regions of the Asia-Pacific area.

This missile is derived from the Gabriel family of sea-skimming anti-ship missiles, developed by IAI in the 1960s and deployed by the RSN on its Sea Wolf-class gunboats in the 1970s. A similar weapon sharing this heritage is the Sea Serpent SSM, which is being marketed by IAI to the UK Royal Navy in partnership with Thales.

The Blue Spear missile has a range of about 290 km and features beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) strike capabilities against targets at sea and on land. This is approximately double the range of the Harpoon missiles that the RSN deploys on its Formidable class.

The subsonic weapon integrates a radar seeker, guidance system, and payload system within a hardened casing to improve its survivability against Gatling gun-based close-in weapon systems. This upgrade reflects the ongoing evolution of missile technologies and the search for more advanced and safer options for operations in strategic and often contested maritime environments.

The integration of the Blue Spear system into Estonia's coastal defense initiatives is a key component of its broader security strategy. Designed to excel in highly contested spaces, this fifth-generation missile system effectively counters advanced defensive measures and significantly boosts Estonia's defensive capabilities.

As a Military Off-the-Shelf Solution (MOTS), the Blue Spear system enables rapid acquisition and deployment, minimizing operational risks while providing Estonia with a cutting-edge and efficient defense tool.