Latvia and Finland consider common armored vehicle system

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Latvian and Finnish defense ministers hope to sign a technical agreement about the creation of a common armored vehicle system, and possibly later purchase, according to the Ministry of Defense on January 29.

Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For!) and Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen will sign the technical agreement in Helsinki, with the aim of creating cost-effective solutions for the land forces of both countries. The agreement will provide the basis for a more beneficial procurement offer and mutual interoperability of armored vehicles, including maintenance and repair capacity, along with strengthening local industrial capacity.

The technical agreement calls for discussion period regarding research of the armored vehicle systems, which, if successful, will be followed by discussion in each country regarding signing a framework agreement. This would allow the countries to procure development system elements based on the needs of each country. 

The technical agreement is political and not legally binding, and doesn't require any of the signatories to ensure specific services or products, according to the Defense Ministry.

As previously reported in 2018, Latvia's Defense Ministry said that the National Armed Forces had signed a contract to buy 11 million euros' worth of "Outlander MAX 650XT Military Version" 6x6 vehicles from Finnish company BRP. 

The purchase was made via NATO's Support and Procurement Agency. The order also includes the supply of spare parts kits that will provide the necessary equipment for the next two years. Plans include training the National Armed Forces mechanics in order to ensure the successful daily maintenance of vehicles.

Also reported reported in 2018 , Finnish company Oy Sisu Auto Ab (Sisu Auto) was declared the winner in a tender to supply armored vehicles to the Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS) for €200 million, but two other bidders have filed complaints, LETA learned.

South Africa’s Paramount International Marketing and US company AM General LLC lodged complaints with the Public Procurement Monitoring Bureau about the outcome of the tender.

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