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Wednesday 24.05.2017 | Name days: Marlēna, Ilvija, Ziedone
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Latvia signs contract on procurement of howitzers from Austria

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUA mutual contract on the purchase of M109A5Oe-type self-propelled howitzer system, fire support and training platform has been signed by Latvian Defence Ministry and Austrian Defence and Sport Ministry.

Defence Ministry reports that in order to increase Latvian Armed Forces fire support capabilities and improve the country’s ability to fully integrate in NATO operations and military exercises, it has been decided to purchase 47 combat vehicle units from Austria. Howitzers Latvia intends to purchase were modernized in the period between 2003 and 2007 and then left for storage.

The cost of a single unit, depending on modifications (howitzer, fire support or training platform) varies from EUR 60,000 to EUR 140,000.

It is planned that the first howitzers will be delivered to Latvia in autumn 2017.

Mobile artillery system’s M109A5Oe A-type howitzer, which is a modernized version of A2 and A3 howitzer with 39-calibre M185 barrel, is used by Austrian armed forces. Austria had procured those howitzers from Britain in the mid-90s. Their range is 22 km with conventional munitions and 30 km with improved conventional munitions.

Austria’s offered 155mm self-propelled M109A5Oe artillery system is fitted with a semi-automatic reloading system, inertial navigation system, electrical system and an artillery fire control system. Its modifications allow the howitzer to open fire within a minute after receiving firing objective. The unit is also able to leave the firing position within 30 seconds after completing its firing objective.

With a well-trained crew, it is possible to fire up to 12 shots within one minute. The platform is also fitted with a 12.7mm machine gun for defensive purposes.

The M109A5Oe Fire Support Centre is an Austrian modification of the M109 platform with retained frame and dismantled cannon. Lack of a cannon increases internal space. The platform is fitted with a tactical counter with a printer, radio equipment and 28 V generator. For protection, the platform has an 80mm smoke grenade system and 12.7mm machine gun.

Foreign Affairs Ministry reports that the purchase of new combat vehicles will serve as an important step towards expanding artillery forces of Latvia’s army, increasing the country’s defensive capabilities.

Ref: 224.109.109.6091


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