Heckler & Koch G36 for Latvian National Guard

    Latvian Soldier with G36 on exercise

    Latvian Soldier with G36 on exercise, Oct. 2017 (G. Indrevics)

    Latvia’s armed forces and border guards are set to receive new Heckler & Koch G36s. On the 11th January, the Latvian Ministry of Defence issued a press release announcing the new contract with the German small arms manufacturer. The 7 year contract, worth 13 million Euros or $16 million, is said to be for both rifles and other types of weapons – probably including H&K’s AG36 40mm grenade launcher, already in Latvian service.

    A press release from Heckler & Koch, posted on 2nd February, said:

    The Latvian Armed Forces signed a treaty, among other things, for the purchase of G36 assault rifles intended for use by the Armed Forces, the National Guard and the Border Guard of the country. Within the next seven years, products from the entire range of Heckler & Koch products will be delivered with an order volume of more than 13 million euros.

    Latvian G36 Rifle

    Latvian soldier holds his H&K G36 during a range day at Camp Julian, in Kabul, Afghanistan, c.2009 (Sgt. T. Wad)

    The Latvian army adopted the G36 in 2006, but other arms of the Latvian armed forces including the national guard (Zemessardze) and state border guards (Valsts Robežsardze) will begin receiving new rifles this year. The move comes as part of a modernisation effort to replace the last of the national guard’s Swedish-made Ak4 (G3 clones) rifles. The Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis said:

     “Purchase of G-36 assault rifles and other guns under the agreement will allow us to modernise the National Armed Forces, National Guard and Border Guard arsenal with the same type of weapons. It will further enhance the close cooperation and joint development to which we have committed ourselves and are working towards”

    At the same time Latvia has also signed two further small arms contacts, one worth 37,924 Euros ($46,000) with Glock and a 30,000 Euro ($37,000) contract with Accuracy International for an undisclosed number of their .338 Lapua Magnum AXMC sniper rifles. The Latvian military currently have a variety of pistols and sniper rifles in inventory, with Glock 17, 19, 21s already in service.

    Sources:

    ‘National Armed Forces sign a purchase contract for delivery of G-36 assault rifles’, Latvian Ministry of Defense, Retrieved 01/17/18 from source

    ‘Notice of contract award of defense and security Deliveries’, TED, retrieved 01/17/18, from source

    ‘Large order from Latvia goes to Heckler & Koch’ H&K, retrieved 03/02/18, from source

    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs www.historicalfirearms.info, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of www.armourersbench.com, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]


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