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Latvia to invest 158 million euros in air defense

  • 2014-07-22
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Latvia today approved 158 million euros into boosting its air surveillance and anti aircraft capabilities. 

Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis said the funds would go towards new air surveillance radar, individual anti-aircraft defense systems and weapons and the modernization of current air-defense capabilities.

''If we implement our plans, we will be able to identify low-flying aircraft in our border areas, as well as significantly improve our anti-aircraft capabilities,'' Vejonis said. 

Future plans include purchasing anti-tank weaponry necessary for Latvia to defend itself from possible aggression, the defense ministry said.

The Defense Ministry has received bids from thirteen companies offering to supply air surveillance systems, necessary for bolstering Latvia's anti-air defense capabilities.

The bids were evaluated by experts from the Defense Ministry and National Armed Forces who have selected the best offers, and their decision has been approved by Minister Vejonis.

Latvia has said it has seen a rise in the number of Russian aircraft near its borders since the Ukraine crisis began. Russia has said it's not breaking any rules by carrying out the exercises.