Defence expenditures in Latvia planned at EUR 234 million in 2018
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.