The 2004 defense of Latvia is based on selective military duty with
an initial service of twelve months and comprises 4,800 men.
To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that LVA stands for Latvia. The defense is organized with an infantry brigade, four
patrol boats and a semi-military coast guard unit with eight
patrol boats. Latvia has no fighter aircraft. The reserves
amount to 13,500 men and are organized into four brigades.
Latvia aims to militarily protect its own territory and its
borders. A cooperation agreement with the other Baltic
states was signed in 1996 with the aim of coordinating
border surveillance of the countries' eastern borders. A
coherent maritime surveillance system along all the three
Baltic states has been established, including Swedish aid.
After all, lack of financial resources, voluntary, trained
staff and competing societal needs with regard to
conscience-related young men limit the growth rate of the
Latvia, like other Baltic states, applied for membership
in NATO in 1997 and became a member in 2004. Defense costs
amounted to 3.5% of GDP in 1996 and had fallen to 1.2% in
2001. Latvia participates in UN peacekeeping efforts,
including: by joining Swedish UN unions in the long term to
build up their own competence.
Latvia's defense overview
Latvia has been a member of NATO since 2004. Norway has
contributed to the development of the Latvian defense with
material and military instructors. The total force figure
for Latvia's armed forces is 6210 active personnel, with a
reserve of 15,900 personnel (2018, IISS)
NATO contributes to the defense through the Enhanced
Forward Presence program, which since 2016 has
supported defense in the countries of Poland, Estonia,
Latvia and Lithuania, and to the air defense through the
Baltic Air Policing program, where fighter aircraft and
crews from rotating NATO countries deployed in Estonia and
Lithuania monitor and claiming sovereignty in the airspace
over the three Baltic countries. Norway led the mission last
from 1 May to 1 September 2015.
Latvia's armed forces
The army has a workforce of 1400 active personnel. In
addition, the National Guard comes with 600 active personnel
and 7750 reservists. Materials include three T-55 type tanks
used for training, 81 Scimitar type trucks, 47 M109
self-propelled artillery, as well as medium-heavy artillery.
The air component has a staff strength of 430 active
personnel, four light transport aircraft and six
helicopters. In addition, the air component has short range
air defense missiles and light air artillery.
The marine component has a staff of 480 active personnel,
including the coastguard. Materials include five patrol
vessels, six mine war vessels, and one aid vessel. One of
the mine war vessels is of the Norwegian Vidar class (the
former miner Vale, transferred from the Norwegian
Navy), which is used as a flagship for the fleet of patrol
boats, and can still be used as a minelayer. The Coast Guard
has six patrol vessels.
In 2018, Latvia participated in the NATO operations in
Afghanistan (Operation Resolute Support) with 36
personnel, and in the North Sea (SNMCMG1) with one mine war
vessel. In addition, in the UN operation in Mali (MINUSMA)
with 17 personnel.