Latvia to buy Swedish air defense missiles

Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis on Thursday signed a deal with Saab Dynamics of Sweden to purchase anti-aircraft missiles in the latest move to boost Latvia's defensive capabilities.

Bergamis wasted no time on the first day of an official visit to Sweden to ink an agreement to purchase an unspecified number of short range RBS-70 air defense missiles.

"Strengthening air defense is now one of our national defense priorities. The contract with SAAB Dynamics will further enhance our air defense capabilities and push them to a higher quality level. Sweden is an established partner of Latvia for air defense training. Our cooperation has been ongoing for more than a decade," Bergmanis said at the signing.

The deal is for the upgraded 'Mark 2' version of the RBS-70 missile system, with Latvia having previously bought Mark 1 versions in 2005, and includes not only equipment but training for Latvian troops and a clause keeping the possibility of future orders open.

Supply of the weapons will start this year and continue next year at a price tag of €3.67m with the chance of further deliveries in 2017 for another payment of €3.12m.

Missile 'Mk2' supply to Latvia for 2015 and 2016 to open up the possibility to continue in 2017.

2015 2016-pamatpiegādes contract total amount of 3.67 million. In turn, an additional 3.12 million provided for the possibility to continue the acquisition of the 2017.

The weapons will be distrubuted to regular troops an Latvia's aviation bases as well as being issued to a specialized National Guard air defense unit. 

SAAB Dynamics has supplied RBS-70 systems to 19 countries in total.

Full specifications of their weapons systems are available at the SAAB corporate website HERE.

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