Spain starts deployment of NASAMS air defense missile system in Latvia due to invasion of Ukraine

According to information published by the Latvian army on June 26, 2022, the Spanish army deployed a NASAMS air defense missile system in Latvia in response to the need to strengthen the defense capabilities of the Baltic region after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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Spanish army starts the deployment of a NASAMS air defense missile battery in Latvia. (Picture source Latvian army)

The Spanish NASAMS air defense missile system will be deployed at the Latvian military base of Lielvarde, a town in Ogre Municipality in the Vidzeme region of Latvia, on the right bank of the Daugava river, 52 km southeast of Riga.

An important component of NATO’s deterrence and defense posture is a military presence in the eastern part of Alliance territory. In recent years, Allies have enhanced NATO’s forward presence by establishing multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

Following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Allies agreed to establish four more multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. This brings the total number of multinational battlegroups to eight, extending all along NATO’s eastern flank – from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south.

The Spanish army acquired its four NASAMS 2 air defense missile systems in 2003. In November 2011, the American company Raytheon, along with Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, provided support during the Spanish Army's successful live-fire exercise of its National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS). This was the first NASAMS live firing conducted in Spain.

The AMRAAM missile of the NASAMS 2 has an effective range from 7 to 10 km at a maximum altitude of 10 km. The AMRAAM missile packs unprecedented performance into a lightweight, cost-effective package. It uses a combination of inertial guidance, midcourse updates, and an onboard active radar to find the intended target and complete the intercept.