Air defense drills set for next week

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Increased military activity in Latvia's sovereign airspace is due to continue in coming days with air defense exercises taking place near Liepaja, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

From 7 to 13 September at the Skede military range near Liepaja, air defense exercise "Baltic Zenith 2015" which will take place, testing out short-range RBS-70 anti-aircraft missile systems.

The training will be performed by National Guard units, with air defense described as "one of the priorities" of Latvia's current defense strategy.

Skede is the only military zone in Latvia capable of hosting air defense exercises.

"The Armed Forces apologize for the inconvenience and asks people to be understanding about the ongoing training and short-term noise," the ministry said.

The training announcement came just a day after it was confirmed that advanced US military drones will also be operating in Latvian airspace for the next two weeks as part of another training exercise.

Unconfirmed but reliable reports also suggest the US Airforce will send two of its state-of-the art F-22 Raptor fighters to the Baltic states at the end of this week for a visit lasting just a few hours. However, whether an overflight of Latvia will be included remains unclear.

In an interesting aside, sources told LSM recent exercises taking part under the banner of NATO's 'Swift Response' exercises simulated the recapture of occupied Baltic airfields.

From September 14-29 Latvia will be hosting more than 1,000 foreign troops as part of the annual 'Silver Arrow' training drills.

You can watch Latvian troops getting to grips with the RBS-70 in the video below:


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