Connections with the surveillance drone were lost during armed forces training in the border area last weekend. Most likely, it landed in Russian territory.
On Monday, September 25, news broke on Russian social media that a damaged aircraft had been found in the Pskov area. By description and location, it could be the lost drone of the Latvian armed forces, officials say.
“It could be our drone. We're not ruling it out, but it's hard to say because it's unclear what the source of the information is. They are not official institutions. Therefore, we will only be able to confirm this when there is an official reaction from Russia,“ said Jānis Garisons, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defense.
Immediately after the incident, Latvian authorities informed the Embassy of Russia of what happened, but no official response has been received so far.
A service investigation has been launched into the armed forces to find out the reasons for the aircraft's loss. Both a version of a technical fault and a version of communication being tampered with deliberately are being investigated.
Officials do not reveal the manufacturer and model of the lost drone. But it has not been a custom civilian drone, according to unofficial information, but a specialist military aircraft worth more than €100,000. The Ministry of Defense emphasized in particular that the drone was not armed, but only equipped with surveillance equipment.
On Tuesday morning, NBS Lieutenant General Leonīds Kalniņš told Latvian Television that the drone does not contain memory files, but was operated remotely online.
“This drone did not use memory files or specific devices. This drone operated live, it passed information to the console at the operator's disposal,” explained Kalniņš.