MILMAG Defence & Space 02/2020 »

MILMAG - The Military MagazineLatvia modernizes its vehicle fleet - MILMAG - The Military Magazine

Latvia modernizes its vehicle fleet

The Latvian Ministry of Defence is on the verge of launching a renewed tender for the procurement of a series of medium high-mobility armoured 4x4 tactical vehicles, under the most complex defence acquisition program in the country’s history. Adequate military mobility is vital for enhancing National Armed Force combat capabilities. Responsible staff has been tasked with review of the technical requirements to make sure the procurement is successful, said Artis Pabriks, the head of the Latvian MoD 

Latvian MoD should procure a number of medium high-mobility armoured 4x4 vehicles and tactical trucks / Photo: Sisu Auto

The new tender will be launched in the aftermath of last year’s decision to cancel the procurement of  a number of Sisu GTP 4x4  tactical vehicles. The Latvian MoD had to terminate the acquisition of vehicles manufactured by the Finnish Oy Sisu as a consequence of a profound evaluation conducted by the country’s Procurement Monitoring Bureau. The investigation resulted in the identification of a handful of irregularities in the selection process, which might have influenced procurement body’s final decision. 

The Sisu GTP 4x4 vehicle out-competed a number of rivals, such as American AM General’s HMMWV, South African Paramount Group’s Marauder LAV and Turkish Otokar’s Cobra, all of which took part in the 2ndphase of the test and evaluation process conducted in May 2018. 

In addition to the planned acquisition of new armoured 4x4 vehicles the Latvian MoD pursues the procurement of a number of utility vehicles. According to the Secretary of State at the Latvian Ministry of Defence, Janis Garisons, new platforms will be procured in the next ten years with the planned budget of several dozen million Euros. 

New tactical trucks will supplement, and eventually replace a number of currently operated platforms, including nearly 200 utility vehicles, such as 5- and 8 tonne Scania tactical trucks, donated by Norway over the past several years. 

Although the Latvian MoD did not want to elaborate more on the subject, it is understood that a number of European manufacturers will be invited to make a bid in the forthcoming tender. It will come as no surprise if the Polish Jelcz company, a member of the state owned PGZ (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa), becomes granted the participant status in the acquisition process. Especially since the manufacturer has years of experience in providing its customers with renowned and operationally proven platforms, which come at an affordable and competitive price. 

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