Estonian army is retiring pistols of Makarov known as PM. The local ministry of defense signed an agreement with company Heckler&Koch about purchase on new 9mm pistols USP, which will replace Russian PMs. This information was reported by RIA Novosti, which quoted press-service of Estonian Defense Ministry.
The replacement of light weapons is going according to “Program of development and structural changes of Armed Forces of Estonia before the year of 2010.” New pistols should go along with compliance with NATO standards.
In the summer of 2004 Estonian Defense ministry announced bidding for the supply of new pistols. After technical analysis the preference was given to pistol USP by HK. According to the contract, German company would also take care of destroying old PMs.
According to the opinion of Estonian experts, Makarov pistols are technically and morally obsolete. Besides, their shells of 9x18mm do not go along with NATO standards, which are 9x19mm.
The head of the supply department of local defense ministry Ingvar Pyarnamyae praised HK for their timely supply of pistols and accessories like laser sights, tactical lights, silencers. Also, he pointed out at good warranties and service agreements that came with USP.
Soviet Army adopted PM as the standard issue pistol in 1951. Until very recently, the pistol was produced without much of changes. PM is a simple and reliable weapon, with small for this caliber size and weight.
In 2000 the Tula armory designed a pistol of new generation P-96, which might soon replace Makarov at law enforcements organs.