Latvia signs deal for US military radar

Within hours of receiving approval to buy four 'Sentinel' military radar systems from ThalesRaytheonSystems in coming months, Latvia signed on the dotted line for three more pieces of its air defense jigsaw on Thursday, the Defense Ministry announced.

On October 1 Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis inked an agreement with Lockheed Martin Radar Surveillance Systems vice president Greg Larions for three Multi-Role TPS-77 radar systems which will be used for monitoring Latvian airspace.

“This radar procurement will be able to make an important contribution to strengthening and modernizing the National Armed Forces' combat capability, allowing us to react appropriately to contemporary threats faced by NATO countries,” said Bergmanis at the signing.

The amount Latvia will pay was not disclosed, however previous deals suggest a cost price of around $15-$20m per unit depending upon exact specification.

“Early warning and situation awareness is a prerequisite for timely decision making and effective response,” said National Armed Forces Commander Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube, stressing that low flying surveillance and target identification is vitally important Latvian air space observation component.

That's particularly the case with Russia having a large attack helicopter base not far from the Latvian border near Pskov.

According to Lockheed Martin's information the TPS-77 MRR multi-functional radar can operate with "extremely low power consumption" and is highly mobile and easy to use.

Latvia already has three Lockheed Martin AN/TPS-77 radio-locators at its military bases.

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