Latvia has received the first 18 ‘Sportsman Big Boss’ and MRZR-2 military tactical vehicles manufactured by US company Polaris Government & Defense.
The vehicles are intended for use by the Latvian Armed Forces and have been procured under the US government’s foreign military sales programme.
Latvia Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis said: “We are delighted that Polaris vehicles are being delivered and will significantly boost the tactical mobility of Latvian Armed Forces, including the National Guard. This vehicle supply deal is yet another successful cooperation initiative between Latvia and the US.”
The Latvia National Armed Forces expects to receive a further 44 Polaris-manufactured military tactical vehicles by the end of this year under the US government’s foreign military financing programme.
Furthermore, additional Polaris vehicles are planned to be delivered in 2020 as part of a fully funded US government programme.
In total, Latvia is set to procure 130 Polaris vehicles, including ‘Sportsman Big Boss’, MRZR-2, MRZR-4, and MV850. The consignment is estimated to be around €6.8m, which will include 15% met by Latvia from its budget.
The vehicles have been deployed during missions carried out by Nato forces in Afghanistan.
Under the framework of intergovernmental agreements with the US, Latvia will also receive vehicle parts, engineering support and training.
Over the past 20 years, Latvia has been receiving assistance from the US through various military support programmes.
So far, the country’s armed forces received equipment necessary for upgrading their capabilities, including communication systems, night vision equipment, and vehicles.