De­fence ex­pen­di­tures in Latvia planned at EUR 234 mil­lion in 2018

Baltic News Network - - News -

Lat­vian gov­ern­ment plans to spend EUR 234 mil­lion on de­fence projects, in­clud­ing pro­cure­ment of trans­ports, am­mu­ni­tion, ar­ma­ments and in­di­vid­ual equip­ment, in 2018 as con­firmed by De­fence Min­istry.

28% of fund­ing is in­tended for pro­cure­ment of trans­ports, 15% – for pro­cure­ment of am­mu­ni­tion, 13% – for pro­cure­ment of arms, and 8% – for pro­cure­ment of in­di­vid­ual com­bat equip­ment.

The min­istry notes that the planned fund­ing for 2018 in­cludes long-term com­mit­ments from on­go­ing projects and the fund­ing planned for projects to be re­al­ized this year. 70% of the planned fund­ing will be used to cover on­go­ing projects.

More at­ten­tion will be put on pro­cure­ment of in­di­vid­ual equip­ment, which is a pri­or­ity to sup­ply the Na­tional Armed Forces and the Na­tional Guard with ap­pro­pri­ate com­bat equip­ment. EUR 28 mil­lion have been di­verted for con­tracts signed in pre­vi­ous years and EUR 12 mil­lion for this year’s planned pro­cure­ments associated with in­di­vid­ual equip­ment. «On 12 Fe­bru­ary we signed one of the largest multi-year pro­cure­ment con­tracts for the sup­ply of anti-tank mis­siles. It is also planned to sign a multi-year pro­cure­ment con­tract to ac­quire light and medi­um­sized tac­ti­cal trans­port ve­hi­cles and av­er­age class he­li­copters. Pro­cure­ment of light and medium-sized tac­ti­cal trans­ports com­menced in 2017. We are cur­rently look­ing through po­ten­tial can­di­dates,» the min­istry notes.

In 2018, it is planned to com­mence mul­ti­ple large-scale pro­cure­ments. The min­istry em­pha­sizes the size of planned pro­cure­ments is 46% larger than it was in 2017. As it is known, De­fence Min­istry has plans to in­vest around EUR 50 mil­lion in the devel­op­ment of de­fence in­fra­struc­ture ev­ery year from 2018 to 2021. Fo­cus will be put on im­prov­ing sup­port as a host coun­try for al­lied troops and in­fra­struc­ture ac­ces­si­ble to the Na­tional Guard. This year’s de­fence budget is around EUR 576.34 mil­lion, which is EUR 126.8 mil­lion more than last year.

Evija Tri­fanova/LETA

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