The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sold surplus combat reconnaissance armoured vehicles to the Latvian Armed Forces.
Valued at £39.4m, the package covers a total of 123 vehicles that were previously used by the UK Army on operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan, and their overhaul and refurbishment.
The vehicles are expected to enable the Latvian Army to better transport infantry, reconnaissance teams, air defence sections and mortar fire controllers and also provide vital battlefield capabilities, including ambulances, armoured command vehicles and armoured recovery vehicles.
Speaking at the Nato Summit in Wales, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "This is just one way we are supporting our Baltic Nato allies.
"As a leading member of Nato the UK is keen to restate publicly our support for the collective security of its members and enable our partners to contribute to international peacekeeping and security operations."
The vehicles were deemed surplus to UK Army requirements following the strategic defence and security review in 2010, as the British military restructures to better address the challenges they will face in the future.
In March, the Latvian and UK defence ministries signed a letter of intent regarding the cooperation on the Latvian Land Force’s infantry brigade mechanisation project.
At that time, Latvia announced plans to purchase 120 second-hand combat vehicles reconnaissance (tracked) (CVR(T)) from the UK at an estimated cost of €70m.
Last month, The Baltic Times cited the Latvian MoD as saying that the UK will supply trucks, equipment tools and spare parts in 2016, and the vehicles will be equipped with additional weapons systems and communication devices.
Designed by Alvis, the CVR(T) is a family of mobile, air-transportable armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) comprising Scorpion, Spartan, Sultan, Samson and Scimitar tanks and also the Saracen armoured personnel carrier and the Saladin vehicle.
The British CVR(T) fleet is scheduled to be replaced by the Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV), which will be supplied by General Dynamics UK under a £3.5bn deal signed earlier this week.
Image: UK soldiers with armoured combat vehicles in Latvia. Photo: library image.