RIGA, March 20 (LETA) - The National Armed Forces have received 47 of the planned 123 tracked reconnaissance vehicles from the UK, LETA was told at the press service of the Defense Ministry.
The mechanization project of the Land Forces' Infantry Brigade is planned in several stages and phases, and the armored vehicles are now being supplied from the UK as part of the first stage of the project. In all, Latvia plans to purchase 123 units of heavy military equipment. The used vehicles meant for the Latvian mechanized unit are repaired and upgraded before they are delivered to Latvia. The deliveries of this equipment are planned from 2006 to 2020, the ministry's representatives said.
The basic price of the purchase deal, which is EUR 46,591,746, includes the repairs and upgrades of the 123 vehicles, their spare parts and the training of Latvian specialists.
The vehicles will be equipped with Spike antitank systems and a modern NATO classified communications and command system. Latvia still needs to purchase ammunition for .30 caliber machine guns, antitank missiles and a weapons training simulator. This will increase the total costs of the purchase to EUR 209,606,945.
Construction of the necessary parking, cleaning and maintenance infrastructure will cost EUR 9,411,083, and the maintenance of the equipment, weapons and control systems' infrastructure will cost EUR 18,596,121. The training of the Latvian personnel will cost EUR 2,047,671, with additional personnel costs planned at EUR 9,852,818. As a result, the total costs of the project, planned for the next ten years, will total EUR 249,514,638.
The amount of military equipment is going to increase in Latvia this year as Latvia not only continues to receive the tracked vehicles, but is also about to sign an agreement with the Austrian Defense Ministry on the purchase of used self-propelled howitzers.
The Canada-led multinational NATO battalion, which is due to deploy to Latvia this summer, will also bring more heavy military equipment.