Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks and his Finnish counterpart, Antti Kaikkonen, signed a technical agreement to improve the mobility of their armed forces by developing a new armoured vehicle system based on Patria’s 6×6 platform, the Latvian and Finnish ministries of defence (MoDs) and Finnish company announced on 29 January.
If the two countries participating in the programme agree to procure a common vehicle, it will increase mobility, cost-efficiency, interoperability, and security of supply of the armies of both countries, they said.
The Latvian MoD added that if the vehicle platform research and development is successful, it expected deliveries of the first vehicles by 2021, continuing for around a decade, with prices determined by Latvian requirements, such as the number of units and versions. The Latvian ministry plans to negotiate national industrial involvement and technology transfer.
The Finnish MoD and Patria said the joint programme would be open to other countries if Finland and Latvia mutually agree. Kaikkonen placed this in the context of deepening defence co-operation between member states of the EU, in which Finland and Latvia are both members.
Latvia signed a letter of intent with Estonia and Finland on 17 December 2019 to establish a common armoured vehicle system adapted to their national requirements. Alar Mozolev, head of procurement at the Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI), Estonia’s defence programming authority, told Jane’s on 22 December that the three countries are looking for a wheeled armoured personnel carrier able to transport a squad of troops.
The Patria platform was selected based on national and multinational testing and evaluation, according to the Finnish MoD.
Jussi Järvinen, president of Patria’s Land business unit, said the company’s 6×6 vehicle has excellent terrain mobility and is easy to use, adding that it can conduct several missions.
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