RIGA, Feb 12 (LETA) - The new Spike anti-tank missile systems will significantly strengthen the combat capacity of the Latvia army and is a factor that all potential enemies will have to reckon with, Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens/Farmers) told the press.Bergmanis and the executives of EuroSpike company, Gunter Lauer and Arie Lapidot, today signed an agreement about Latvia purchasing EUR 108 million worth of Israeli-made Spike anti-tank missile systems in a ceremony in the Latvian Defense Ministry. The defense minister said that it was a historic agreement, one of the largest in the history of the Latvian National Armed Forces. "The purchase of the equipment will make us stronger and will be a factor to be reckoned with by anyone who would want to test our strength," he said. Most Latvian soldiers know how to operate the Spike missile systems but training still will be needed as Latvia will get the latest generation missiles. The training is included in the total agreement amount of EUR 108 million. Lauer said that Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the developer of Spike missiles, had joined the Latvian Federation of Security and Defense Industries last year and, with the help of the federation, had studied the capacities of the Latvian defense industry. We are determined to involve Latvian sub-contractors in the implementation of the project, the EuroSpike representative said.As reported, developing anti-tank capabilities is one of the Latvian defense sector's priorities, and Spike anti-tank missile systems have been recognized as best suited for the needs of the Latvian army. The Spike anti-tank missile systems will bolster the combat capacity of the regular army units as well as the Latvian Home Guard. Spike missiles will be installed also on the CVRT reconnaissance vehicles that have been purchased from the UK.Spike anti-tank missile systems are in the military arsenal of 28 countries, including Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Germany.It is planned that the Spike anti-tank missiles will be supplied to Latvia in installments by 2023.Multinational companies Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Diehl Defense GmbH & Co. KG and Rheinmetall Electronics will also be involved in the manufacture and delivery of the anti-tank missile systems to Latvia as the sub-contractors.
Published: 12.02.2018 18:01