Shepard Media has recently reported that the entire Latvian National Guard will soon be receiving a full fielding of 5.56x45mm NATO G36KVs infantry rifles and 7.62x51mm NATO KSP-58 medium machine guns (FN MAGs) from the Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) to replace former AK-4 rifles (Swedish licensed G3s) within the National Guard. The Latvian National Guard currently already has a mixture of AK-4s and G36KVs, but this new fielding will completely replace AK-4s and ensure that the entire Latvian military contingent has G36KVs and KSP-58s across the board. These rifles come equipped with Aimpoint optics of a similar version to the red dot M68 CCO, mounted on the 12 o’clock picatinny optic rail.
The Latvian MoD, in addition to the Lithuanian MoD are both aware of the inherent issues with the Heckler & Koch G36 when it comes to the over-heating scandal that rocked the German defense industry in the past several years. However, both countries appear to have weighed their options and have come to the conclusion that the temperatures at home cannot surpass temperatures in Afghanistan, where German soldiers were having issues with the weapon system.
From Shepard Media-
The National Guard is incorporated into the NAF during times of conflict; and during peacetime, the guard conducts joint training and crisis response coordination with the armed forces.
As a result, Latvia is carrying out a programme to standardise weapons across both the regular forces and National Guard. All units of regular forces are equipped with G36 rifles, and the weapon is now being rolled out across National Guard units to replace the Ak-4 assault rifle.
The procurement of G36 rifles in 2006 also initiated transition to NATO ammunition calibre standards. The aim of the modernisation is to ensure that soldiers can efficiently engage in different operations, on different terrains and against different vehicles, light armoured vehicles and fortifications, regardless of the time of day, climatic conditions and visibility.
The Latvian G36 contract rifles are actually slightly different than the standard export G36Ks that Heckler & Koch produces. They have more picatinny rails on them, in addition to built-in iron sights, and incorporate the latest stock modifications over the standard G36K stocks. For identification purposes, the rifles have an “L” with 3 stars, in addition to a “KV3” next to the serial number.