Latvia and Estonia sign letter of intent for joint procurement of medium-range air defence systems
On 30 June, during the NATO Meeting of the Heads of State and Government in Madrid, Defence Minister Artis Pabriks and Estonian Defence Minister Kalle Laanet signed the Letter of Intent for joint procurement of medium-range air defence systems.
‘Russian invasion of Ukraine has clearly shown that we need to secure air defence systems. Once again, thank you Spain for bringing such equipment to Latvia as we solve our capability needs. Latvia is happy to cooperate with Estonia on this procurement – such joint projects make regional cooperation and collective defence only stronger,’ Minister Pabriks underlined.
"The NATO Summit has given a clear signal that those who are ready to contribute to the defence themselves will be helped. Estonia is a reliable Ally and certainly one of those countries that will do its part, "said Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet, according to whom it is important that Estonia, in addition to the support offered by its Allies, is ready to contribute to air defence
Based on the Letter of Intent, Latvia and Estonia will jointly award contract for delivery of air defence systems. Joint procurement will allow countries coordinate defence resources, maximise the efficiency of defence investments and promote stability and security in the region as a whole.
Given the circumstances, it is important for Latvia to start developing its air defence capabilities as soon as possible, and joint procurement with Estonia is the first step towards this goal. Other Allies can potentially join the air defence system procurement project launched by Latvia and Estonia in later stages.
Air defence capabilities are crucial for Latvia’s military security. These systems will significantly boost Latvia’s ability to take down missiles that are currently used to attack Ukrainian cities.
Spanish-supplied ground-to-air NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) anti-aircraft missile battery was deployed to Lielvārde Air Base on 26 June to provide Latvian Armed Forces with necessary air defence capabilities before procurement is completed.
As reported earlier, Latvia will gradually increase its defence spending to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025. Because it is one of the main priorities, medium-range air defence systems will be procured from additionally allocated funding.