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The Latvian Ministry of Defence has announced the delivery of six M109A5Oe self-propelled howitzers and related ammunition to strengthen the Ukrainian forces.   

The move follows a recent decision taken by the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers in this regard.

M109A5Oe is a 155mm self-propelled artillery system and features a semi-automatic loading device, inertial navigation system, electrical system, and an artillery fire control system.

The howitzer has a firing range of 22km with standard ammunition, and offers a firing range of 30km with advanced ammunition.

It is also capable of opening fire within a minute of receiving an order, and can leave the fire position within 30 seconds after the firing task.

Latvian Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks said: “Ukraine must receive support from the rest of Europe continuously.

“This is an effective gift because, thanks to the support provided by the allies so far, Ukrainian soldiers already know how to handle these equipments and can use them for defence immediately.”

Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov said in a Twitter post: “Six more M109 howitzers that have recently arrived in Ukraine from Latvia are already showing results on the battlefield.”

This week, Latvia also announced the delivery of two Mi-17 and two Mi-2 helicopters to Ukraine.

So far, Latvia has committed over €200m in the form of uncrewed aerial vehicles, dry food rations, ammunition, anti-tank weapons, and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to help the Ukrainians combat Russian forces.

Latvia is part of the Ukrainian Defence Contact Group. 

Earlier this month, Pabriks and Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur planned to jointly procure medium-range air defence (MRAD) systems to boost the region’s defence capabilities.