Armed forces chief outlines defense strategy

The Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) are being developed in several directions and there are military capabilities that are being built from scratch, Latvian Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Raimonds Graube said during a debate on the country's new defense concept Thursday.


Graube said work is underway to provide the armed forces' infantry brigade with the necessary heavy machinery and that Latvia is set to purchase 123 armored vehicles from the UK as part of the project, which means that for the first time Latvian troops will have heavy military equipment ensuring security. The armored vehicles will also be equipped with modern anti-tank weapons.

Another development direction is aimed at bolstering the capabilities of the special operations unit, which cannot be overestimated in the circumstances of hybrid warfare, Graube indicated,saying special operations units are highly effective in unconventional warfare.

Developing an air-defense system is also vital for Latvia, Graube said. The armed forces must be able to see beyond Latvia's borders, and early warning capabilities are of fundamental importance, because thanks to them the Latvian military can win time and prevent the enemy's gunships just flying to Riga.

Graube also drew attention to the development of the Latvian National Guard, which is also going to receive significant funding and equipment. The armed forces are also working on the decentralization of logistics operations, which is the case of an attack would allow Latvia to respond in an adequate manner, as well as on Latvia's ability to host allied forces. Investments are also necessary in soldiers' training so that they had sufficient experience and skills to work with modern defense systems.

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