First UK fighting vehicles arrive in Latvia

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Latvia has taken the delivery of the first four armored vehicles (Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked or CVRT) it has purchased from the United Kingdom, the Latvian Defense Ministry announced Friday. 

The first batch will be used for training and familiarization purposes before the full complement of 123 CVRTs, also known as the 'Scimitar' arrives in coming years.

"This is an important step towards strengthening Latvia’s self-defense capacity because the upgraded vehicles that will be equipped with the best anti-tank weapons will significantly improve the combat capacity and mobility of the Infantry Brigade,” Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis said.

Last year Latvia signed an agreement about purchasing 123 CVRTs from the United Kingdom. Although the vehicles are used, they will be extensively overhauled and upgraded before delivery. The CVRTs will be delivered to Latvia in several batches between 2016 and 2020.

The Latvian government approved the agreement about purchasing from the United Kingdom 123 CVRTs for €48.1 million euros in August 2014 and the defense ministers of both countries signed the agreement on September 4, 2014. Latvia will also be purchasing Spike anti-tank missile systems to be installed on the CVRTs.

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