Latvia to spend €234m on defense procurements this year

Latvia plans to spend €234 million on defense procurements this year, the Defense Ministry said February 22.

The main areas of spending are as follows: 28% of the sum will be spent on buying military transport, 15% on ammunition, 13% on buying weapons and 8% on individual equipment.

The money will be used both for new and current contracts. A total 70% of the sum will be used to fulfill existing obligations, the ministry says. 

€40 million will be spent on equipment for army and National Guard (Zemessardze) soldiers, a priority this year. 

As reported, on February 12 Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis signed a €108 million contract to buy "Spike" anti-tank missiles from Israeli manufacturer Rafael.

Latvia is also buying helicopters and finalizing past contracts over the purchase of tactical military transport.

The ministry says that this year the central procurement budget is 46% bigger than that of 2017. Latvia's defense spending grew an annual €126.8m in 2018, reaching €576.4m or 2% of GDP. 

From 2018 to 2021, Latvia plans on investing about €50 million annually into military infrastructure.

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