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The Latvian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched the procedure for the procurement of a series of new high-mobility armoured 4×4 tactical vehicles. This is another attempt of the Baltic State to acquire such platforms, as the initial tender had to be cancelled due to a number of procedural irregularities and legal obstacles.

The head of the Latvian MoD, Artis Pabriks, has recently admitted, that his resort had sent out inquiries to a number of countries, which could participate in the highly awaited procurement of a series of new high-mobility armoured 4×4 tactical vehicles. The minister expects a dozen of replies to be submitted by early September. The next stage of the acquisition programme will most likely focus on evaluation of particular vehicle platforms, which are available on the market.

“Adequate military mobility is vital for enhancing National Armed Force combat capabilities,” stated the Latvian MoD. It is expected that new tactical vehicles will not only enhance operational capabilities of the Latvian Armed Forces, but also will allow finalization of a number of other strategic procurement programmes, some of which are focused on modernisation of artillery and air-defence weapon systems.

This time the Latvian MoD intends to take a different approach to the procurement of new tactical vehicles than during the first attempt, which failed to secure the acquisition of a number of Finnish-built Sisu Auto GTP 4×4, that the country declared as the preferred platform.

Authorities in Riga seem now to be determined to push for a government-to-government agreement, which would allow for the procurement of new tactical vehicles, instead of dealing directly with manufacturers.

The initial acquisition programme was launched in 2017. Evaluation of submitted bids, which included testing of proposed platforms, was conducted in two stages. A dozen of manufacturers took part in the first phase of the competition, after which only 6 of them got qualified for the final stage.

However, eventually only four companies decided to submit final bids. These were: Oy Sisu Auto from Finland with its GTP 4×4 (shown here), the U.S. AM General offering the HMMWV 4×4, South African Paramount Group with the Marauder LAV 4×4 and Otokar from Turkey proposing the Cobra 4×4 platform.

Shortly after GTP 4×4 was declared as the preferred platform, two of the bidders, AM General and Paramount Group, decided to protest the outcome of the competition and lodge a complaint. This resulted in the launch of an in-depth investigation, which identified a number of procedural irregularities and legal obstacles in the procurement and evaluation procedure.

Early 2019 the country’s Procurement Monitoring Bureau ordered the MoD to withhold final contract negotiations with Oy Sisu Auto. Shortly after the Procurement Committee of the MoD decided to terminate the whole procurement procedure.

Michal Jarocki