The Latvian Ministry of Defense initiated second phase of the negotiation procedure for the acquisition of 4×4 light and medium tactical vehicles, in which first-tier tenderers submitted detailed samples of offered vehicles and vehicles for testing in order to assess their compliance with the operational requirements of the National Armed Forces.
The procurement commission of the Ministry of Defense invited six entrepreneurs to participate in the second stage of the negotiation procedure. At the closing date for the submission of tenders, four offers were received: Oy Sisu Auto GTP 4×4 (Finland), AM General HMMWV/Humvee (USA) , Paramount Group Marauder LAV (South Africa) and Otokar Cobra (Turkey).
In accordance with the negotiation procedure, all applicants submitted their proposed vehicles for testing, which are transported to Latvia. The active phase of vehicle testing took place from May 14th to May 18th.
In parallel with the testing procedure, the procurement commission conducted a detailed evaluation of the tenders submitted. After the evaluation of the offers, it is planned to organize negotiations with each of the tenderers.
It has already been reported that the first phase of the negotiation procedure was completed in February this year. 12 candidates were invited to participate in the negotiation procedure, of which six companies were nominated in the second round – Paramount Group, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) and AS UPB (Latvia), Otokar, Oy Sisu Auto, AM General and Oshkosh Defense (USA).
According to the Defense and Security Procurement Law, the negotiation procedure is organized in two stages.
The acquisition of high-mobility 4×4 armed light and medium tactical vehicles will significantly improve the mobility capabilities of the Latvian National Armed Forces. Tactical mobility is a critical indicator of unit combat readiness, and failure to provide units with transport platforms limits the ability of the National Armed Forces to perform their assigned tasks.
Vehicles are also needed to implement artillery, air defense and National Guard development projects. The vehicle must be able to provide personnel, freight transport, command or medical support, and must provide armor protection and weapons installation.
It has already been announced that the total defense budget for 2018 is € 576.34 million, of which € 220.27 million is planned to be invested in development. Capacity development projects, which will receive the largest funding in 2018, are infrastructure development, airspace monitoring and air defense capabilities, the Land Forces Mechanized Infantry Brigade Mechanization Project, and the development of the Battle and Responding Capabilities of the National Armed Forces, including the National Guard.
In 2018, the Latvian defense budget for the first time reaches 2% of gross domestic product, following the NATO recommendation to Member States to allocate at least two percent of defense expenditures.