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Latvia to procure nearly fifty used howitzers; first ones to be supplied in autumn

Latvian National Armed Forces will sign an agreement with Austrian Defence and Sports Ministry for the procurement of M109 series 155mm self-propelled artillery system. This agreement includes not only the procurement of howitzers, but also fire support centre and driver training platform procurement, as reported by Latvian Defence Ministry.

It is planned that the costs of a single unit, depending on modifications – howitzer, fire support centre or driver training platform will be from EUR 60,000 to EUR 140,000.
 

To further improve fire support capabilities of Latvian armed forces and improve their ability to fully integrate in NATO operations and exercises, it is planned to procure 47 self-propelled artillery platforms.
 

Mobile artillery system’s M109A5Oe A-type howitzer, which is a modernized version of A2 and A3 howitzer with 39-calibre M185 barrel, is used by Austrian armed forces. Austria had procured those howitzers from Britain in the mid-90s. Their range is 22 km with conventional munitions and 30 km with improved conventional munitions.
 

Austria’s offered 155mm self-propelled M109A5Oe artillery system is fitted with a semi-automatic reloading system, inertial navigation system, electrical system and an artillery fire control system. Its modifications allow the howitzer to open fire within a minute after receiving firing objective. The unit is also able to leave the firing position within 30 seconds after completing its firing objective.
 

With a well-trained crew, it is possible to fire up to 12 shots within one minute. The platform is also fitted with a 12.7mm machine gun for defensive purposes.
 

The M109A5Oe Fire Support Centre is an Austrian modification of the M109 platform with retained frame and dismantled cannon. Lack of a cannon increases internal space. The platform is fitted with a tactical counter with a printer, radio equipment and 28 V generator. For protection, the platform has an 80mm smoke grenade system and 12.7mm machine gun.
 

M109 driver training platform is intended for practical training courses.
 

It is expected that the first howitzers will be delivered in autumn 2017.

BNN

22-02-2017
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