Lat­vian De­fence Min­istry plans the largest ten­der­ing process in coun­try’s history

Baltic News Network - - News -

This sum­mer, Lat­vian De­fence Min­istry plans to an­nounce the largest ten­der­ing pro­ce­dure in the history of Latvia’s army. It is planned to pro­cure heavy ve­hi­cles to trans­port ar­moured ve­hi­cles and troops. The to­tal amount for the next ten years may reach EUR 200 mil­lion, as re­ported by Nekā per­son­īga.

It is planned to or­der ve­hi­cles from US man­u­fac­turer AM Gen­eral, which also man­u­fac­tures Hum­mer. The com­pany and min­istry pre­vi­ously had a ver­bal agree­ment. How­ever, Latvia’s po­si­tion has changed just re­cently. It is now planned to or­ga­nize an open ten­der­ing process with a re­quire­ment to en­trust part of the man­u­fac­tur­ing process to Latvia, the pro­gramme re­ports. Trans­ports used by Latvia’s army are out­dated. They were gifted in the ‘90s, when as­sis­tance was be­ing pro­vided by Swe­den and other neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. Lithua­nia and Es­to­nia have both pro­cured light trans­porta­tion ve­hi­cles for their armed forces in re­cent years. Latvia is be­hind its neigh­bours in this re­gard. In­for­ma­tion re­ported by the pro­gramme states that the Saeima’s De­fence, In­ter­nal Af­fairs and Cor­rup­tion Preven­tion Com­mit­tee dis­cussed this prob­lem at mul­ti­ple pre­vi­ous meet­ing. The pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments are usu­ally blamed for fail­ures. For ex­am­ple, when the Peo­ple’s Party was in charge of the De­fence Min­istry, there had been plans to pro­cure horses.

Ai­nars Latkovskis, head of the de­fence com­mit­tee, told the pro­gramme: «In­vest­ments were not in­vested at the time. We built sports halls and did many other things. But we did not build them in Adazi or Aluk­sne. I be­lieve those fi­nances were mis­used. This is why, in terms of com­bat ca­pa­bil­i­ties, ours and Es­to­nia’s po­si­tions are very dif­fer­ent. It is a gap that re­quires cross­ing.» HAMVI army unit and ve­hi­cle trans­ports are man­u­fac­tured by Amer­i­can fac­tory AM Gen­eral. They also man­u­fac­ture civil­ian Hum­mer mod­els.

This year, the US gov­ern­ment gifted 44 HAMVI ve­hi­cles to Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina. An agree­ment was signed last Au­gust for the pro­cure­ment of 1,600 cars for the Afghan army and po­lice force. The to­tal value of the agree­ment is USD 356.

It can be con­cluded that a sin­gle unit is pro­cured by the US gov­ern­ment for ap­prox­i­mately USD 213,000, as noted by Nekā per­son­īga.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of AM Gen­eral and the US em­bassy have been keep­ing up talks with Lat­vian De­fence Min­istry for the pro­cure­ment of HAMVI ve­hi­cles. Agree­ments were reached in re­gards to prices. De­fence Min­istry then dropped talks to or­ga­nize the ten­der­ing process, ac­cord­ing to the pro­gramme’s in­for­ma­tion.

This ten­der­ing pro­ce­dure is so im­por­tant for Amer­i­cans that the US am­bas­sador has met with Saeima’s chair­per­son of the Na­tional De­fence Com­mit­tee Solvita Aboltina, other Saeima mem­bers and even De­fence Min­is­ter Rai­monds Bergma­nis. There are also plans for a visit of the gov­er­nor of Michi­gan to Latvia.

Com­man­ders of Latvia’s army had met with the gov­er­nor of Michi­gan mul­ti­ple times in the past. Latvia’s army and Michi­gan Na­tional Guard have 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in co­op­er­a­tion. This will be the first time when the Amer­i­can of­fi­cial will visit Riga.

But Latvia’s De­fence Min­is­ter does not know if a meet­ing is planned with Michi­gan’s gov­er­nor. The Amer­i­can of­fi­cial has not booked a visit, Bergma­nis told the pro­gramme. In his in­ter­view with Nekā per­son­īga, Bergma­nis com­mented: «Will the gov­er­nor and se­na­tors talks about the ten­der­ing process when they ar­rive in sum­mer? It is hard for me to say. I do not have their agenda and I can­not com­ment… But I do un­der­stand they will meet with us as long as their visit is a planned one. I can­not tell you any­thing be­cause I have no in­for­ma­tion… I only know that those peo­ple plan to ar­rive in Latvia. But I have no ex­act dates.» Bergma­nis has de­cided to or­ga­nize a ten­der­ing process to pro­cure ve­hi­cles. South African com­pany that man­u­fac­tures Mbombe ar­moured cars has al­ready ex­pressed in­ter­est, as has Swiss MOVAG man­u­fac­turer.

Bergma­nis has a visit planned in Lithua­nia this week. There he will be pre­sented with the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of Swiss ar­moured ve­hi­cles. Bergma­nis told the pro­gramme that he wants to se­cure the widest pos­si­ble range of con­tenders. This is not the only thing that sur­prised Amer­i­cans. There will also be a re­quire­ment for re­pairs and par­tial pro­duc­tion to be car­ried out in Latvia.

Edijs Pālens/LETA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Latvia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.