Latvian Land Forces

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.

Latvian Land Forces
Sauszemes spēki
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)
CommanderColonel Sandris Gaugers[2]


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.


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
  • Mechanized Infantry Brigade[4]
    • Headquarters
    • Headquarters and Signal Company
    • 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion
      • Headquarters and Support Company
      • 1st Mechanized Infantry Company
      • 2nd Mechanized Infantry Company
      • 3rd Mechanized Infantry Company
      • Combat Service Support Company
    • 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion
      • Headquarters and Support Company
      • 1st Mechanized Infantry Company
      • 2nd Mechanized Infantry Company
      • 3rd Mechanized Infantry Company
      • Combat Service Support Company
    • 3rd Infantry Battalion (trains active service soldiers, national guardsmen and reserve soldiers)
      • Headquarters and Support Company
      • 1st Infantry Company
      • 2nd Infantry Company
      • 3rd Infantry Company
      • Combat Service Support Company
    • Artillery Unit (M109A5Ö howitzers)
    • Combat Support Battalion
      • Staff and Signal Company
      • Anti-tank Company (Spike-LR missiles)
      • Fire Support Company
      • Engineer Company
      • Military Intelligence Company
      • Forward Air Control Unit
    • Combat Service Support Battalion
      • Staff and Signal Company
      • Supply and Transport Company
      • Technical Support and Maintenance Company
      • Medical Company


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]


Personal equipment

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

Infantry weapons

Glock AustriaGlock 17
Glock 19
Glock 21
Glock 26
9×19mm ParabellumStandard issue pistol.[9][10][11]
Shotguns and submachine guns
Remington 870 United States12 gauge[11]
Heckler & Koch MP7 GermanyMP7A1HK 4.6×30mm[11]
Heckler & Koch MP5 GermanyMP5A39×19mm Parabellum[11]
Heckler & Koch UMP GermanyUMP99×19mm ParabellumStandard issue submachine gun.[9][11]
Assault rifles
Heckler & Koch G36C GermanyG36KV5.56×45mm NATOStandard issue assault rifle.[9][10][11]
Sniper rifles
Heckler & Koch HK417 Germany7.62×51mm NATO[11]
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare United KingdomAW
7.62×51mm NATO
12.7×99mm NATO
AW variant used to be the standard issue sniper rifle.[9][11]
PGM Hécate II France12.7×99mm NATOStandard issue heavy sniper rifle.[9][10][11]
Barrett M107 United States12.7×99mm NATO[11]
Machine guns
FN Minimi BelgiumMinimi Para5.56×45mm NATOStandard issue light machine gun.[9][10][11]
FN MAG SwedenKulspruta 58 B7.62×51mm NATO[10][11]
M2 Browning United StatesM2HB-QCB12.7×99mm NATO[12][11]
Grenade launchers
Heckler & Koch AG36 Germany40x46mm[9][11]
Heckler & Koch GMG Germany40x53mm[9][10][11]
Anti-tank weapons
AT4 Sweden84 mm[10]
Carl Gustav recoilless rifle SwedenM2
84 mmM2 variant used by the National Guard.[13] M4 variant on order.[14]
Unmanned aerial vehicles
AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma United StatesRQ-20A3 systems, each having 3 unmanned aerial vehicles[16]
UAV Factory Penguin C LatviaPenguin CLong-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles[17]

Military vehicles

Name Image Origin Type Variants Quantity Notes
Armoured reconnaissance vehicles
CVR(T)  United Kingdom Armoured reconnaissance vehicle Scimitar
205[18] 116 modernized vehicles in service, plus 7 used for training. 82 additional vehicles on order - to be delivered by 2022.[19]
Armoured cars
Humvee  United States Armoured car M1043A2
Ten vehicles donated by USA in 2005.[20] Possibly 28 more purchased later.[21] Some equipped with HK GMG, M2 Browning and SPIKE ATGM
Mercedes-Benz G-Class  Germany Armoured car 290GD 50 [22][23]
Scania  Sweden Truck P93
134 P93 trucks and 8 NM154 recovery vehicles donated by Norway in 2013. 50 more trucks purchased in 2014.[22]
Mercedes-Benz Unimog  Germany Truck U1300 120[24]
Light vehicles
Mercedes-Benz G-Class  Germany Sport utility vehicle 240GD
Land Rover Defender  United Kingdom Sport utility vehicle D110 2 D110 variant used by military police.[26]
Polaris RZR  United States Fast attack vehicle MRZR-2
62[27] Option for up to 130 vehicles.[28]
Can-Am Outlander  Finland ATV Outlander MAX 650XT 582[29] [30]
Special vehicles
Bv 206  Sweden Amphibious tracked vehicle Bv 206A
Bv 206F
Donated by Sweden in 2002 and 2003.[31]


L16 81mm mortar  United Kingdom
81 mm
GrW 86  Austria 120 mm Purchased from Austria in 2017.[32]
Self-propelled artillery
Rechenstellenpanzer M109
 United States
155 mm 53
35 howitzers, 10 command and control vehicles and 2 driver training vehicles purchased from Austria in 2017.[33]

Additional 18 howitzers received in 2021.[34]

Rank structure[35]

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
Flag Officers Senior Officers Junior Officers
Rank insignia
Rank Lieutenant General
Major General
Brigadier General
Brigādes Ģenerālis
Lieutenant Colonel
First Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
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
General NCOs Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Privates
Rank insignia
Rank Senior Warrant Officer
Augstākais virsseržants
Warrant Officer
Galvenais virsseržants
Senior Sergeant
Štāba virsseržants
Sergeant First Class
Private First Class
NATO Rank Grade OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2


  1. "Simbolika". Nacionālie bruņotie spēki. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  2. "Nacionālie bruņotie spēki". Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  3. Jane's World Armies Issue 23 - 2008
  4. "Mechanized Infantry Brigade". Latvian Army. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  5. "Nacionālie bruņotie spēki". Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. 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. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2015-02-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "Member countries". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
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  10. "Faktu lapa "Nacionālie bruņotie spēki" (2008)". (in Latvian). Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  11. "AM sagatavojusi jaunus armijas ieroču standartus". (in Latvian). LETA. 12 July 2018.
  12. "NBS par 1,8 miljoniem eiro iegādāsies 'Browning M2' ložmetējus". (in Latvian). BNS. 21 December 2014.
  13. Tupp, Enn (2018). "Zemessardze - KASP-i ja Kaitseliidu vääriline partner". Kaitse Kodu! (in Estonian). Kaitseliit. 1: 34. ISSN 1406-3387.
  14. "Latvia and Estonia Place Orders for Carl-Gustaf M4". Saab Press Centre. 13 July 2020.
  15. "Latvia takes delivery of new Spike missile variants". 7 March 2020.
  16. "Latvian army with US support to receive EUR 2.4 million worth of drones". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  17. "Latvia acquires Penguin C long-endurance UAVs". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  18. "Latvian army purchases UK armoured combat vehicles". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  19. "NBS saņēmuši visas 2014. gadā parakstītajā līgumā paredzētās kāpurķēžu izlūkošanas mašīnas CVR(T)". (in Latvian). 26 October 2020.
  20. "Latviešu karavīru draugs «Hummer»". 1 June 2005.
  21. "Par ASV naudu pirks «Hummer»". (in Latvian). 10 July 2005.
  22. "Bruņotie spēki saņem Norvēģijā pirktās automašīnas un ieročus" (in Latvian). Retrieved 31 May 2015.
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  25. ""Latvijas Avīze" atmasko: Kad galvā lido šķīvīši…" (in Latvian). 20 June 2017.
  26. "MLR PT.21 ~ LATVIAN MILITARY POLICE D110 SW". 28 June 2019.
  27. "Latvijas armija saņems ar ASV atbalstu sagādātus 62 taktiskos transportlīdzekļus" (in Latvian). Retrieved 6 Feb 2018.
  28. "All 47 howitzers bought from Austria are now in Latvia". 18 October 2018.
  29. "2019. gadā turpinājās NBS un Zemessardzes vienību bruņojuma modernizācija". 13 January 2020.
  30. "Bruņotie spēki no Somijas iegādājušies 6x6 bezceļa transportlīdzekļus" (in Latvian). 15 June 2018.
  31. Kristovskis, Gatis (12 June 2018). "Latvia to buy parts of used all-terrain carriers from Sweden for EUR 5.7 million". LETA.
  32. "Latvia gets from Austria second-hand 120 mm mortars". 4 October 2017.
  33. "ARMOUR FOCUS – NEW LATVIAN M109 SPH". 4 April 2018.
  34. "Latvijai piegādātas papildu 18 pašgājējhaubices". 27 July 2021.
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