Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis (Government photo)
WARSAW — Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis has signed a letter of intent with British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to buy 120 tracked armored vehicles for the Latvian armed forces.
The acquisition is estimated to be worth about €70 million (US $96 million), local news agency LETA was told by Kaspars Galkins, a spokesman for the Latvian Defense Ministry.
Vejonis said the planned procurement marks the first step in a long-term plan to improve the defense capabilities of Latvia’s armed forces. Following the signing of the letter of intent, a deal to purchase the vehicles is scheduled to enter into force in May.
The model of the vehicles was not disclosed by the Defense Ministry. Under the Feb. 27 agreement, they will be overhauled by Britain’s armed forces and supplied to the Latvian military’s mechanized infantry brigade.
In late 2013, Latvia’s government decided to prioritize the vehicle acquisition. The program to modernize the Latvian Army’s vehicle fleet is scheduled from 2014 to 2020, according to the ministry. ■