Ministry of Defence of Latvia and Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sport has signed a bilateral agreement on the acquisition of the type M109A5Oe self-propelled howitzer system, including fire control centre and training platforms.
Acquisition of altogether 47 howitzers from Austria will boost indirect fire support capacity of Latvian Armed Forces and promote Latvia’s full engagement in NATO operations and training activities. Howitzers procured by Latvia were fully modernized between 2003 and 2007, and then mothballed.
‘We highly appreciate the good cooperation with our Austrian colleagues in boosting Latvia’s indirect fire support capabilities. We are grateful to Austrian Defence Ministry and its Armed Forces for the immense support and input in promoting the signing and implementation of bilateral agreements, as well as delivering various training activities to Latvian soldiers. I visited Austria and initiated negotiations on the acquisition of self-propelled howitzers about a year ago, and now we see our plans coming true,’ said Raimonds Bergmanis, Latvian Minister of Defence, to his Austrian colleague Hans Peter Doskozil during the meeting.
Minister Bergmanis also underlined that successful cooperation will pave way for other joint projects for acquisition of self-propelled artillery in future.
First artillery units will be delivered to Latvia this autumn.
Depending on the specification - howitzer, fire control centre or training platform, unit costs will vary from €60 000 to €140 000 per unit.
As we reported earlier, self-propelled artillery system M109A5Oe type A howitzer, an upgraded version of A2 and A3 type howitzers, equipped with 39 calibre M185 barrel is now in stock of Austrian Armed Forces. Howitzers have a range of 22 kilometres when standard ammunition is used, and upgraded version can even reach 30 kilometre range. Howitzer is fire-ready in one minute from fire order and ready to withdraw from its firing position 30 seconds after the shooting.
Latvian soldiers are currently in Austria to undergo training on how to operate howitzers.
Purchase of new artillery units will expand the artillery stock of Latvian Armed Forces and will significantly upgrade national defence capabilities.
Media Relations Section
MILITARY PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia
Phone: (+371) 6 7335135