Latvia buying used, upgraded armored vehicles

Feb. 28, 2014 at 1:58 PM
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RIGA, Latvia, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Latvia and Britain have signed a letter of intent over Latvian procurement of used and upgraded British military vehicles.

The letter of intent was signed earlier this week by Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis and British Secretary of State for Defense Philip Hammond and covers 120 combat vehicles for about $95.7 million.

"This is the first step in a long-term project in national armed forces development and a significant investment in the strengthening our defense capabilities," said Vējonis. "Due to the financial austerity, the mechanization of (an) infantry brigade has been postponed for too long, but it is very important for the development of our army."

A bilateral agreement for the purchase is expected to be signed in May, the Latvian Ministry of Defense said.

Latvia said part of the vehicle acquisition cost has already been allocated by the government. Additional funding for the project will be assigned next year and in 2016.

The letter of intent was signed during the meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, Belgium.

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