Latvia adopts Defense Industry Law

All conditions in the defense industry will be regulated by a new Defense Industry Law, which was adopted by the Saeima in its final reading on Wednesday, March 27.

The law aims to ensure the security of the supply of goods and services necessary for the fulfillment of the tasks and international obligations of the National Armed Forces, as well as to promote the development of the defense industry.

The law prescribes that State administrative institutions shall participate in the development of the defense industry and application of the principles of security of supply within the scope of their competence.

The new law defines new forms of cooperation between the defense sector and defense industry – strategic partnership, as well as secure supplies. The Ministry of Defense will have the right to enter into strategic partnership agreements with capital companies registered in Latvia, which are licensed for commercial activities with goods of strategic significance or have received a certificate from a military manufacturer.

The law also provides that the Ministry of Defence may implement, organize, finance, and support the following support mechanisms for the development of the sustainable defense industrial and technological base for ensuring development support:

  • defense innovation research programs;
  • military or dual-use technology, product R & D support programs and funds;
  • individual military R & D projects;
  • defense innovation;
  • production exhibitions and demonstration events of the defense industry, including the participation of the defense industry in international defense and security exhibitions and other international events;
  • measures for testing and evaluation of products of the defense industry, including prototypes;
  • consultations with defense industry merchants, as well as non-governmental organizations representing their interests;
  • NATO or transnational projects in defense research, as well as in the field of research and development of military or dual-use products;
  • master or doctoral level study support programs related to the development of the defense industry;
  • Involvement of personnel of the national Armed Forces in the preparation of specialists necessary for the needs of strategic partners.

Defense industry includes merchants and scientific institutions that carry out the development, manufacture, repair or disposal of military or dual-use technologies or products, according to the adopted law.

In July 2022, as a result of the Russian-led war in Ukraine, the Ministry of Defense proposed to establish a new state-owned company to ensure and control the production of strategic goods. According to the Latvian Federation of Security and Defence Industries, such a company would help private defense companies to develop.

Latvia produces various components that can later be used to manufacture military products. It also produces finished products such as drones, optics systems, equipment, ammunition, as well as various services in the fields of cyber security, programming, artificial intelligence such as video surveillance, and others.


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