Six NATO countries start weapons initiative

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Latvia purchases surplus armored vehiclesLondon (UPI) Sep 5, 2014 – Latvia’s Army is to receive surplus armored reconnaissance vehicles from Britain under a sales deal worth $64.7 million. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said the contract covers 123 vehicles and their overhaul and refurbishing.
The armored vehicles had been previously deployed for operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I am delighted that Latvia will soon benefit from these proven and life-saving battlefield capabilities, including ambulances and command center,” said British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. “This is just one way we are supporting our Baltic NATO allies.
“As a leading member of NATO, the UK is keen to restate publicly our support for the collective security of its members and enable our partners to contribute to international peacekeeping and security operations.”
Britain said the vehicles purchased — including Scimitars, Scorpions and Samaritans — will enhance the capability of the Latvian military to transport infantry, reconnaissance teams, air defense sections and mortar fire controllers.
Six NATO countries have launched a program for greater cooperation in the procurement and fielding of air-to-ground precision-guided weapons.
The initiative was launched at the NATO Summit in Wales by Denmark — the lead actor in the initiative — the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Norway, Portugal and Spain.
NATO said the project will focus on multi-national approaches toward air-to-ground precision-guided munitions and will establish an overall framework for strengthening international cooperation within the munitions sector.
“Danish experiences from the air operation over Libya in 2011 showed us that national munitions stockpiles are not always sufficient … and they cannot easily be re-supplied within the short timeframe needed during operations,” said Danish National Armaments Director Lt. Gen. Pugholm Olsen. “Therefore we must pursue innovative and more flexible approaches towards provision of munitions in general and specifically air-to-ground precision-guided munitions.”
The six signatories to a letter of intent will consider a wide spectrum of multinational arrangements in the field of PGMs. Among them: mutual loan arrangements, common warehousing, multi-national procurement and the creation of multinational stocks of weapons.
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