Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Latvia procures IRIS-T SLM air defense system

The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Latvia recently inked a significant deal with the German company “Diehl Defence,” finalizing a purchase order for the procurement of the IRIS-T SLM medium-range air defense system.

The Ministry emphasized that the signing of this purchase order, valued at approximately 600 million euros, marks a crucial step toward fortifying Latvia’s air defense capabilities.

This procurement encompasses the acquisition of all essential equipment necessary for the effective operation of the IRIS-T systems, laying the groundwork for the introduction of a comprehensive layered air defense network within Latvia.

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The commencement of deliveries for these medium-range air defense systems is slated to begin in 2026. Anticipating these deliveries, Latvia is actively engaged in training its personnel, upgrading infrastructure, and fulfilling other prerequisites to ensure the National Armed Forces are fully equipped and adept at operating and maintaining the IRIS-T systems upon receipt.

Photo by Ēriks Kukutis

Earlier in September, Latvia and Estonia solidified a framework agreement to acquire the IRIS-T medium-range air defence system, manufactured by the esteemed German company “Diehl Defence.”

The IRIS-T air defense system stands out for its capability to neutralize enemy aircraft and drones within a radius of up to 40 kilometers and at altitudes reaching 20 kilometers. Opting for a joint procurement strategy for this system enables Latvia and Estonia to optimize budgetary resources and streamline mutual coordination in bolstering the defense of the Baltic States region.

The acquisition of the IRIS-T medium-range air defense system aligns with Latvia’s strategic objective of establishing a multi-layered air defense infrastructure.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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