Military of Latvia

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The Latvian National Armed Forces (Latvian: Latvijas Nacionālie bruņotie spēki or NBS) consist of 5910 personnel in uniform.


Latvian National Armed Forces
Military manpower
Military age19 years of age
Availabilitymales age 15-49: 594,596 (2004 est.)
Fit for military servicemales age 15-49: 466,659 (2004 est.)
Reaching military age annuallymales: 19,209 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures
Dollar figure$87 million (FY01)
Percent of GDP1.65% (FY06)

Latvia's defense concept is based upon the Swedish-Finnish model of a rapid response force composed of a mobilization base and a small group of career professionals. The armed forces consists of mobile riflemen, an air force, and a navy. The army, navy, and air force comprise 5,864 personnel. The "Zemessardze," or home guard, is an autonomous 11,646-man-strong volunteer paramilitary organization which also performs traditional national guard duties. Latvia has switched to a professional army—the last draft was in 2005, with the last 84 drafted soldiers leaving mandatory service in November 23, 2006. From January 1st, 2007, the Latvian army will be fully contract-based. Defense spending has risen in recent years, and in 2006 comprised 1.65% of budget spending.

Latvia cooperates with Estonia and Lithuania in the joint infantry battalion BALTBAT and naval squadron BALTRON which are available for peacekeeping operations.

As of March 29, 2004, Latvia officially joined NATO. Currently, NATO is involved in the patrolling and protection of the Latvian air space as the Latvian army does not have the means to do so effectively. For this goal NATO F-16 jets based in Lithuania are used.


[edit] Organisation

  • Latvian Army
    • National Guard (Zemessardze)
  • Latvian Navy
  • Latvian Air Force
  • Border Guards

[edit] Latvian Army

The Army has 2134 personnel including 305 civilians. The regular component of the Army consists of the LATBAT light infantry battalion and training centers. The reserve component consists of the National Guard and is made up of 32 light infantry battalions. The armed forces have recently made a contract with weapons manufacturers Heckler & Koch to arm the Latvian military.

[edit] Latvian armed forces uniform

Recently the whole of the Latvian armed forces received new uniforms. According to the Latvian Ministry of Defence the new uniforms will be able to withstand temperatures of -30C to +50C.The uniforms incorporate a unique kind of digital camouflage.

[edit] Equipment

[edit] Latvian Navy

The Navy [1] has 797 personnel and consists of a combat ship flotilla in Liepāja and a coast guard flotilla in Riga.

[edit] Latvian Air Force

The Air Force has 247 personnel and operates three Mi-2s, four Mi-8s and a L-410UVP Turbolet transport airplane. The Latvian air space is also being protected by NATO F-16 jets.

More - Latvian Air Force

[edit] External links

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