The Ministry of Defence of Latvia is planning to acquire four new UH-60M Black Hawk medium-lift utility helicopters from the US for a total value of approximately €175m.
If purchased, the new Black Hawk helicopters will replace the existing helicopter fleet while strengthening the Latvian forces’ combat capabilities.
Latvia Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis said: “Replacement of helicopters is crucial. Rotorcraft will not only be used for different military purposes, it will also be utilised during civilian operations, serving the public needs.”
The potential intergovernmental agreement between the two countries will also include purchase of associated equipment and provision of installation services.
Potentially to be co-financed by the US from its support programmes, the deal will also include pilot training, crew members and technical personnel, delivery of spare parts and maintenance, full technical documentation and software licences.
Acquisition of the helicopters will help strengthen compatibility with the US forces stationed in Latvia and continue the existing joint training programmes between the military units.
To be fitted with advanced combat weapons systems, the new UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters will provide the Latvian armed forces with rapid response and lift capabilities, thereby enabling the country to reach its determined operational goals.
The aircraft will also be capable of conducting troop and equipment lift, in addition to providing crisis support, medical evacuation, search and rescue, and other support missions, including aerial firefighting, in all weather conditions.
The National Armed Forces of Latvia is expected to receive its first set of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in 2021.