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Latvia Is Strengthening Its National Defence

The Air Force of the Latvian National Armed Forces has received the first two of four UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters [Latvian MoD: Sgt. Eriks Kukutis]

Latvia is significantly strengthening its defence capabilities by investing in both the material and technical support of the Armed Forces.

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Press Release, Riga, 30 December 2022: [auto-translated] In 2022, Latvia significantly strengthened the state’s defence capabilities by investing in both the material and technical support of the National Armed Forces and the improvement of the professionalism of soldiers and national guards.

“Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine made Europe see the true face of Russia and its imperialist ambitions. We Baltics had no illusions about it. Latvia is strengthening its national defence capabilities through close cooperation with our allies. In 2023, we must take a step further, creating the understanding of every citizen of Latvia about his role and responsibility in the defence of the country,” says Minister of Defence Ināra Mūrniece.

Patria 6×6 Armoured Wheeled Vehicle [© Patria]

This year, 2,271 new National Guardsmen were admitted to the ranks of the National Guard, which is three times more than in 2021. Currently, the number of National Guards in Latvia has approached the 10,000 mark. On the other hand, 407 Latvian citizens were recruited for the professional service of the National Armed Forces and for studies at the National Defence Academy.

In 2022, the national armed forces conducted approximately 120 military exercises, including exercises with soldiers from NATO allies. Also, the Latvian armed forces have had good experience in the status of the receiving country, because in addition to the permanent NATO extended presence battle group, soldiers from the USA and Denmark were also received in Latvia.

Soldiers with Saab RBS 70 [© Saab]

While developing combat capabilities, the ground forces continued the mechanisation project by ordering more than 200 Patria 6×6 armoured personnel carriers, which are being manufactured in Latvia. In turn, the Air Force received the first two of the four UH-60M Black Hawk US helicopters ordered by Latvia in December of this year. Also, the air defence capabilities of the armed forces have been strengthened by ordering the RBS-70 NG systems and 1X fire control radars produced by the Saab company. The indirect fire support capability is being purposefully strengthened through the acquisition of mortar ammunition and vehicles, as well as the acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Source: Head of the Press Dept of the Ministry of Military Public Relations Dept

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