Latvia has signed a deal to purchase Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel for a total sum of €108 million. That reports Latvian Public Broadcasting. Spike is a very capable weapon, which is comparable to the American Javelin system that neighboring Estonia recently purchased. The weapons will be delivered to Latvia until 2023.
The exact number and versions of missiles that Latvia will obtain is not clear. Latvia already has 12 Spike-LR systems so it is possible that the new weapons will be of the same type. This is a long-range version with a range up to 5 kilometers.
In 2014 Latvia purchased 123 refurbished tracked combat reconnaissance vehicles (CVR-T) from the British Army, and it is noted that about 30 of these will be equipped with the Spike anti-tank missiles. However, in addition to this there will also be a portable version for infantry use, and minister of defense Raimonds Bergmanis mentions both the National Armed Forces and the National Guard in his statement about the purchase.
Anti-tank capabilities have long been considered a deficiency in the Latvian military. This is obviously a desired capability in the scenario of a land invasion.
Spike is produced by Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. For political reasons the weapon is technically bought from EuroSpike, which is a German company that produces a version that differs slightly from the original Israeli missile.
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