The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has decided to drop its plan of procuring submachine guns and will buy around one thousand assault rifles instead.
The Center for Defense Investments announced a procurement for automatic weapons and accessories for the Defense Forces at the beginning of July. The same procurement will cover the needs of the PPA and justice ministry agencies.
The PPA planned to announce a procurement for 600 submachine guns this year. The procurement was estimated to cost around €1.7 million. The agency’s press representative said the PPA has abandoned the plan and will procure assault rifles instead.
Chief Armorer of the PPA Georg-Tomek Triškin said the agency wants to buy around 1,200 assault rifles. “The weapons will serve as standard support arms and will be given to all patrols, guard stations on the green border, border stations, and special units,” the armorer said.
The agency plans to procure both 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm automatic firearms. “We will switch to the same cartridges as the Defense Forces that correspond with NATO standards,” Triškin said. He added that 7.62 mm automatic firearms are meant first and foremost for the PPA’s special units.
Triškin said that the automatic rifles will replace the agency’s current Galil assault rifles and MP5 submachine guns. The police will hand the Galils over to the army to be used as the latter sees fit, while the MP5 submachine guns will remain a part of the active reserve, mainly of special units.
The Police and Border Guard Board’s armament currently includes Heckler & Koch’s MP5 submachine guns. Officers do not usually patrol public areas with submachine guns in Estonia.
The police did produce patrols armed with MP5s after the Paris terrorist attacks.
Additional patrols equipped with submachine guns were also deployed when Tallinn Airport was secured after a bomb threat last year.
Officers patrolling the downtown area and the passenger port at the time also had submachine guns.