First Latvian howitzers arrive from Austria

The first batch of a total 47 self-propelled howitzers bought by Latvia from Austria arrived on Latvian soil October 1, the Defense Ministry said October 2.

A short video clip from the ministry showed the M109 howitzers disembarking at Liepaja port.

"I am really pleased that only five months after the signing of the agreement... they have arrived on Latvian soil, along with fire control and training platforms. The purchase of this battlefield equipment is an important complementary item of the National Armed Forces, which will improve the country's defense capabilities," Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis said, adding that the new equipment would take part in the traditional Independence Day parade on November 18.

Infographic of Latvian howitzers

All units should be in place by the end of 2018 and despite being originally British Army stock sold to Austria in 1994, they were extensively modernized between 2003 and 2007 and kept in storage.

The cost per unit, depending on its specification is from 60,000 to 140,000 euros.

In February the ministry told LSM the total value of the deal was around 6 million euros.

They have a range of 22 to 30 km, depending upon the type of shells fired and a well-trained crew can fire up to 12 shells per minute.

Advance Latvian crews have already been training with the vehicles in Austria and will now pass on that knowledge to more crews at home.

The video below shows the howitzers in action as Latvian crews underwent training.

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