WARSAW, Poland — Latvia’s government this week voted to authorize the acquisition of Naval Strike Missile anti-ship weapons to bolster the country’s Baltic Sea shore defense capacities.
The Cabinet made its decision as the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced the State Department had given its approval to the planned foreign military sale worth about $110 million.
In a statement, the Latvian defense ministry said that Latvia’s military will acquire “critical capabilities” related to anti-ship missile systems, mid-range air defense, and artillery “about five years earlier than previously planned.”
“The acquisition of this missile system marks the transition of the armed forces to new defense capabilities with a greater firepower and target destruction range, and it will significantly strengthen the defense of Latvia’s coast,” Latvian Defense Minister Ināra Mūrniece said.
Developed by U.S. Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg, the NSM is a sea-skimming, over-the-horizon missile with a range of roughly 115 miles, according to the manufacturers. Under Latvia’s acquisition plan, the systems are to be delivered after 2025, according to the ministry.
This year, Riga plans to spend about €987 million, close to $1.1 billion, on its armed forces, or about 2.25% of Latvia’s GDP.
In addition to the forthcoming NSM purchase, the Latvian ministry also plans to sign a contract to buy six M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, this spring. The other two Baltic States, Estonia and Lithuania, have also signed contracts to purchase HIMARS for their respective militaries since Russia attacked Ukraine in February 2022.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.