Latvia has plans to procure six helicopters in coming years
Latvia’s Defence Ministry and State Border Guard plan to purchase six new helicopters to assist with battling largescale fires in the future.
The ministry explains that the decision regarding the purchase of four helicopters will be made next month. Once the decision has been made, the ministry will reveal the cost of the procurement project.
It is planned that the contract for supplies will be signed this year. The first helicopter may be supplied in 2021.
New helicopters will be used for search and rescue operations, medical evacuation and fire-fighting functions, the ministry reports. Currently Latvia’s Air Force has four used Mi-17 helicopters and two Mi-2 helicopters. Archive information from LETA also shows that procurement project for maintenance work on Mi-17 (1990) concluded in 2012. The agreed upon price of the contract was EUR 1,210,000.
State Border Guard notes that in December 2017 a contract was signed with Leonardo S.p.a. for procurement of new helicopters to replace two Agusta Bell 206B helicopters made in 1974 and 1980 with two equally-sized helicopters.
In accordance with the contract, it is planned to train helicopter pilots, engineering staff and supply two AW 119 Kx helicopters in 2019, which will cost EUR 12,482,718 with VAT, SBG.
New helicopters will be certified for flight at any time of day. They will be properly equipped for search and rescue, personnel transportation, and fire-fighting.