TechRussia's neighbor is arming up. Purchasing the world's best missiles

Russia's neighbor is arming up. Purchasing the world's best missiles

Naval Strike Missile - launch from USS Coronado
Naval Strike Missile - launch from USS Coronado
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons | MC2 Zachary D. Bell

12:04 PM EST, December 11, 2023

The Latvian Ministry of Defense has announced a contract with the United States for the delivery of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) coastal defense system. This weapon is widely considered to be the best in its category. So, what does it bring to the table?

According to the official press release, the value of the signed contract soared to 105 million dollars.

In the statement, it was highlighted that the United States is set to provide substantial financial support, covering up to 70 percent of the total costs. The Defense Express portal suggests that the USA may have offered Latvia a discount in exchange for Riga supplying a certain amount of equipment and weapons to Ukraine. Washington routinely extends this form of support to its allies. Recently, it aided Slovakia in fortifying its forces with AH-1Z Viper helicopters.

"We highly value the USA's contribution to our national security at a time when the world is grappling with complex geopolitical challenges. The Naval Strike Missile systems will enhance the capabilities of the National Armed Forces. This will enable us to safeguard our coastal area and secure shipping routes. These systems will also be accessible to the Alliance when the need arises," said Latvian Minister of Defense Andris Sprūds.

The Naval Strike Missile systems, manufactured by American firm Raytheon along with Norwegian company Kongsberg, will be delivered to Latvia by 2027. The exact number of launchers and specified missiles ordered, however, remains undisclosed.

The Naval Strike Missile systems will empower Latvia to secure not only its entire coastline but also sections of its allied neighboring countries' territories. This sprawling coverage can be attributed to the missile's impressive range upward of 124 miles. These missiles can be deployed from either naval or land platforms and can achieve a subsonic speed of approximately 1 Ma, or around 746 mph.

The missile leverages a fourth-generation cooled Infrared Sensor (IIR) operating with passive mode. This ensures that the missile does not generate detectable signals. Moreover, the Naval Strike Missile can target specific parts of a vessel. Its warhead, weighing roughly 276 pounds, can accurately strike a user-specified location in the adversary's equipment.

Related content