Latvian Land Forces

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Latvian Land Forces
Sauszemes spēki
Latvian Land Forces logo.png
Latvian Land Forces emblem
Active1918 - 1940
1991 - present
Country Latvia
RoleLand force
Size~6,500 professionals, 8,000 National Guard and 3,000 reserve personnel (Military of Latvia)
Part ofLatvian National Armed Forces
Motto(s)Vienotībā spēks (Power in unity)[1]
AnniversariesApril 30, Land Forces Day
May 4, Independence Restoration and Armed Forces Day
EngagementsWar of Independence
Iraq War (2003)
War in Afghanistan (2001)
Commanders
CommanderColonel Ilmārs Atis Lejiņš[2]

The Latvian Land Forces (Latvian: Sauszemes Spēki, SzS) together with the Latvian National Guard form the land warfare branch of the Latvian National Armed Forces. Since 2007, land forces are organized as a fully professional standing army.

Mission[edit]

The main missions of the national Land Forces are to:

  • Provide for the defense of all national territories;
  • Ensure combat readiness and the mobilization of units;
  • Dispose of explosive ordnance;
  • Provide public assistance.

Structure[edit]

Latvian military units and bases [3]
Note: "Special Tasks Unit" is a special forces unit of battalion size.
Structure of the Latvian Armed Forces 2019
  • Insignia of Latvian Land Forces Mechanized Infantry Brigade.png Mechanized Infantry Brigade
    • Latvian Land Forces logo.png Headquarters
    • Latvian Land Forces logo.png Headquarters and Signal Company
    • NBS 1. Kājnieku bataljons emblem.svg 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion
      • Headquarters and Support Company
      • 1st Mechanized Infantry Company
      • 2nd Mechanized Infantry Company
      • 3rd Mechanized Infantry Company
      • Combat Service Support Company
    • NBS 2. Kājnieku bataljons emblem.svg 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion
      • Headquarters and Support Company
      • 1st Mechanized Infantry Company
      • 2nd Mechanized Infantry Company
      • 3rd Mechanized Infantry Company
      • Combat Service Support Company
    • Artillery Division[4]
      • Staff and Signal Battery
      • 1st Howitzer Battery
      • 2nd Howitzer Battery
      • 3rd Howitzer Battery
    • Insignia of the Combat Support Battalion (Latvia).png Combat Support Battalion
      • Staff and Signal Company
      • Reconnaissance Company
      • Anti-tank Company
      • Engineer Company
      • Forward Air Control Team
    • Combat Service Support Battalion
      • Supply and Transport Company
      • Medical Company
      • Maintenance Company

Cooperation[edit]

Latvian, US, and Afghan soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan.

Since 1996 till today the National Armed Forces' soldiers have been deployed on nine international peace-keeping missions in Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia, Central African Republic, Georgia, Iraq, Kosovo, Macedonia and Somalia.[5] Starting from January 1, 2015, Latvian Armed Forces are taking part in EU's Nordic Battle Group.[6][7] On March 29, 2004, Latvia became a fully fledged member of the NATO.[8]

Equipment[edit]

Personal equipment[edit]

A Latvian Army soldier uses hand signals to communicate with his comrades during exercise Saber Junction 15. Note the LATPAT camouflage pattern and BEAR-II vest

The equipment of the Latvian Land Forces troops includes:

  • LATPAT and Multi-LATPAT (Latvian digital camouflage uniform).
  • Norwegian BEAR-II load bearing armor system
  • Kevlar helmet
  • Night vision device

Infantry weapons[edit]

Model Image Origin Variant Caliber Details
Pistols
Glock pistol GLOCK 17 Gen 4 Pistol MOD 45160305.jpg  Austria Glock 17
Glock 19
Glock 21
Glock 26
9×19mm Parabellum Standard issue pistol.[9][10][11]
SIG Sauer P210 SIG 210-2 (6825677804).jpg   Switzerland 9×19mm Parabellum Used by the National Guard.[12]
Shotguns and submachine guns
Remington 870 M870mcs.jpg  United States 12 gauge [11]
Heckler & Koch MP7 MP7A1 REMOV.jpg  Germany MP7A1 HK 4.6×30mm [11]
Heckler & Koch MP5 Heckler & Koch MP5-1.jpg  Germany MP5A3 9×19mm Parabellum [11]
Heckler & Koch UMP HKUMP45.JPG  Germany UMP9 9×19mm Parabellum Standard issue submachine gun.[9][11]
Sniper rifles
Heckler & Koch HK417 HK 417 (7029721321).jpg  Germany 7.62×51mm NATO [11]
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Accuracy International AW.png  United Kingdom AW
AXMC
AX50
7.62×51mm NATO
12.7×99mm NATO
AW variant used to be the standard issue sniper rifle.[9][11]
PGM Hecate II PGM Hecate.jpg  France 12.7×99mm NATO Standard issue heavy sniper rifle.[9][10][11]
Barrett M107 M107 1.jpg  United States 12.7×99mm NATO [11]
Assault rifles and machine guns
M16 rifle M16A1 brimob.jpg  United States M16A1 Used only as ceremonial weapon by the Guard of Honor of the Staff Battalion.
Heckler & Koch G3 DCB Shooting G3 pictures.jpg  Germany 7.62×51mm NATO Ak4 variant used by National Guard.[10][12] Being replaced by G36.[13]
Heckler & Koch G36 Latvian G36KV.JPG  Germany G36KV 5.56×45mm NATO Standard issue assault rifle.[9][10][11]
Rheinmetall MG 3 BundeswehrMG3.jpg  Germany 7.62×51mm NATO Used by the National Guard.[12]
FN Minimi FN MINIMI Standard Right.jpg  Belgium 5.56×45mm NATO Standard issue light machine gun.[9][10][11]
FN MAG FN MAG.jpg  Sweden Kulspruta 58 B 7.62×51mm NATO [10][11]
M2 Browning machine gun M2 Browning, Musée de l'Armée.jpg  United States M2HB-QCB 12.7×99mm NATO [14][11]
Grenade launchers
Heckler & Koch AG36 Latvian G36KV.JPEG  Germany 40x46mm [9][11]
Heckler & Koch GMG HK GMW.jpg  Germany 40x53mm [9][10][11]
Anti-tank weapons
Pvpj 1110 LT PV1110.jpg  Sweden 90 mm Used by National Guard.[10][12] 100 units, some on motorized platforms.
AT4 AT-4Launcher.jpeg  Sweden 84 mm [10]
Carl Gustav recoilless rifle M3E1.jpg  Sweden 84 mm [10][11] M2 variant used by the National Guard.[12]
SPIKE SPIKE ATGM.jpg  Israel [10][11]
UAVs
AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma Paratroopers launch packable drone DVIDS615590.jpg  United States RQ-20A 3 systems, each having 3 UAVs[15]

Military vehicles[edit]

Name Image Origin Type Variants Quantity Notes
Armoured reconnaissance vehicles
CVR(T) Latvian Army CVR'T in Allied Spirit VI  United Kingdom Armoured reconnaissance vehicle
Scimitar
Sultan
Spartan
Samson
Samaritan
123[16] All vehicles will be upgraded and overhauled. Some of them will be equipped with SPIKE anti-tank guided missiles.[17]
Fast attack vehicles
Polaris RZR Flickr - The U.S. Army - This is how we roll.jpg  United States FAV
MRZR-2
MRZR-4
MV850
62[18] Option for up to 130 vehicles.[19]
Armoured cars
HMMWV Ministru prezidents Valdis Dombrovskis vēro Nacionālo bruņoto spēku vienību militāro parādi 11.novembra krastmalā (6357918105).jpg  United States Armoured car 60 Some equipped with HK GMG, M2 Browning and SPIKE ATGM
Mercedes-Benz G-Class Latvian Soldiers, Trident Juncture 15 (22558849382).jpg  Germany Armoured car 50 [20]
Snatch Land Rover Large 2efa.jpg  United Kingdom Armoured car 9 [21]
Trucks
Mercedes-Benz 1017 Uroczystość przekazania WP pierwszej partii niemieckich czołgów Leopard 2 A6.jpg  Germany Truck
Mercedes-Benz Unimog 416 Latvian Army Unimog.jpg  Germany Truck
Scania Scania 93M Norwegian military.jpg  Sweden Truck
P93
NM154
192[22]
Light vehicles
Can-Am Outlander Can-am-shows-the-new-outlander-6x6-xt-video-84284 1.jpg  Finland ATV
Outlander MAX 650XT
[23]
Mercedes-Benz G-Class Latvian Army Mercedes Light G-Class.jpg  Germany SUV
240GD
300GDN
Volvo C class Latvian Army Volvo C303.jpg  Sweden SUV
C303
C304
C306
Land Rover Defender Latvian Land Rover Defender.JPG  United Kingdom SUV
Special vehicles
Bv 206 141002-Z-WX809-658 (15281520727).jpg  Sweden Amphibious tracked vehicle
Bv 206A
Bv 206F
~180[citation needed] Donated by Sweden in 2002 and 2003.[24]

Artillery[edit]

Model Image Origin Caliber Quantity Details
Mortars
GrW 86 Schwerer Granatwerfer (25326842743).jpg  Austria 120mm
M/41D LT M41D.jpg  Sweden 120mm
NM 95 81mmMORT L16.png  United Kingdom
 Norway
81mm
Self-propelled artillery
M109A5Ö Latvian Army M109 A5o Howitzer  United States

 Austria

155 mm 47[19] Mobile artillery system's M109A5Ö A-type howitzer, which is a modernized version of A2 and A3 howitzer with 39-calibre M185 barrel. Their range is 22 km with conventional munitions and 30 km with improved conventional munitions.[25]

Air-defence weapons[edit]

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
Air-defence missiles
RBS-70 RBS-70 – Army of the Czech Republic.JPG  Sweden Ordered in 2004.[26] Short-range man-portable air-defence system (MANPAD) used in combination with GIRAFFE Radar
FIM-92 Stinger Stinger Kokonaisturvallisuusmesssut 2015.jpg  United States Purchased from Denmark.[27]
Radars
Giraffe Kalustoesittely itsenäisyyspäivä 2015 07 Lähivalvontatutka.JPG  Sweden PS-70 Used for guiding RBS-70 fire units.[28]
AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel ELEC AN-MPQ-64 Sentinel Radar lg.jpg  United States AN/MPQ-64F1 4 Donated by the U.S. through the European Reassurance Initiative. Two radars used in conjunction with the RBS 70 air defence system.[29]
AN/FPS-117 RAAF AN-FPS-117 radar in 2007.jpg  United States AN/TPS-77 6 Used in Baltic Air Surveillance Network.[30][31]

Rank structure[32][edit]

The rank structure of the Latvian army is adjusted to the rank structure of the NATO countries in Europe. Rank insignia are worn historically on the collars and today also on shoulder marks. Starting 2016, only the Staff Battalion wears the collar insignia.

Officers of the Latvian Army
Generals Officers
Rank insignia LV-Army-OF8.png LV-Army-OF7.png LV-Army-OF6.png LV-Army-OF5.png LV-Army-OF4.png LV-Army-OF3.png LV-Army-OF2.png LV-Army-OF1a.png LV-Army-OF1b.png
Rank Lieutenant General
Ģenerālleitnants
Major General
Ģenerālmajors
Brigadier General
Brigādes Ģenerālis
Colonel
Pulkvedis
Lieutenant Colonel
Pulkvežleitnants
Major
Majors
Captain
Kapteinis
First Lieutenant
Virsleitnants
Second Lieutenant
Leitnants
NATO Rank Grade OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Non-Commissioned Officers of the Latvian army
Sergeants Privates
Rank insignia LV-Army-OR9.png LV-Army-OR8.png LV-Army-OR7.png LV-Army-OR6.png LV-Army-OR5.png LV-Army-OR4.png LV-Army-OR3.png LV-Army-OR1.png
Rank Senior Warrant Officer
Augstākais virsseržants
Warrant Officer
Galvenais virsseržants
Senior Sergeant
Štāba virsseržants
Sergeant First Class
Virsseržants
Sergeant
Seržants
Corporal
Kaprālis
Private First Class
Dižkareivis
Private
Kareivis
NATO Rank Grade OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Simbolika". Nacionālie bruņotie spēki. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Nacionālie bruņotie spēki". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  3. ^ Jane's World Armies Issue 23 - 2008
  4. ^ Indrēvics, Gatis (12 December 2018). "Artilērijas diviziona karogs pēc 14 gadu pārtraukuma atgriežas Ādažu bāzē" (in Latvian). Sargs.
  5. ^ "Nacionālie bruņotie spēki". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-20. Retrieved 2015-02-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ http://www.forsvarsmakten.se/siteassets/english/nbg15---eng/14mar_-fcdr_master-f.pdf#page=13
  8. ^ "Member countries". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Par ieroču modeļu noteikšanu un iepirkumu Nacionālo bruņoto spēku vajadzībām". likumi.lv (in Latvian). 28 July 2005.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Faktu lapa "Nacionālie bruņotie spēki" (2008)". www.mod.gov.lv (in Latvian).
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "AM sagatavojusi jaunus armijas ieroču standartus". www.tvnet.lv (in Latvian). LETA. 12 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d e Tupp, Enn (2018). "Zemessardze - KASP-i ja Kaitseliidu vääriline partner". Kaitse Kodu! (in Estonian). Kaitseliit. 1: 34. ISSN 1406-3387.
  13. ^ "Latvia's National Guard receives G36 rifles". www.shephardmeida.com. 31 May 2017.
  14. ^ "NBS par 1,8 miljoniem eiro iegādāsies 'Browning M2' ložmetējus". www.delfi.lv (in Latvian). BNS. 21 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Latvian army with US support to receive EUR 2.4 million worth of drones". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Latvian army purchases UK armoured combat vehicles". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Latvia to continue purchases of Spike anti-tank missiles". Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Latvijas armija saņems ar ASV atbalstu sagādātus 62 taktiskos transportlīdzekļus" (in Latvian). delfi.lv. Retrieved 6 Feb 2018.
  19. ^ a b "All 47 howitzers bought from Austria are now in Latvia". eng.lsm.lv. 18 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Latvia to buy anti-tank weapons, armoured vehicles from Norway". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  21. ^ "Latvian soldiers leave for the operation in Central African Republic". Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  22. ^ "Bruņotie spēki saņem Norvēģijā pirktās automašīnas un ieročus" (in Latvian). Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  23. ^ [hhttps://www.tvnet.lv/4514810/brunotie-speki-no-somijas-iegadajusies-6x6-bezcela-transportlidzeklus "Bruņotie spēki no Somijas iegādājušies 6x6 bezceļa transportlīdzekļus"] (in Latvian). 15 June 2018.
  24. ^ Kristovskis, Gatis (12 June 2018). "Latvia to buy parts of used all-terrain carriers from Sweden for EUR 5.7 million". LETA.
  25. ^ "Latvia to procure nearly fifty used howitzers; first ones to be supplied in autumn". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  26. ^ "Another NATO Country Buys RBS 70". www.defense-aerospace.com. 25 November 2004.
  27. ^ "Latvia to Buy Stinger Air-Defence Systems". www.defense-aerospace.com. 22 August 2017.
  28. ^ "Novērošanas radars PS-70".
  29. ^ Eglīte, Džoanna (5 October 2016). "Latvian skies protected by advanced radars". www.mil.lv.
  30. ^ "Latvia awards Lockheed Martin $44 million contract for two long-range air surveillance radars".
  31. ^ "Latvia buys TPS-77 multi-role radars from Lockheed Martin". 5 October 2015.
  32. ^ "Latvia Latvian Army ranks military combat field uniforms dress grades uniformes combat armee lettone - Army Recognition - Army Recognition". Retrieved 24 December 2014.