The total value of military tactical radios produced by Harris, a US manufacturer, and supplied to the Latvian Armed Forces in 2017 exceeded USD 10.5 million. Large procurement of these radios has strengthened the command capability of the Latvian army and is a part of the on-going efforts to develop a sustainable communications system compatible with other NATO allies.
Contract for the delivery of the tactical radios was signed by the Ministry of Defence and the US government in August of 2016. These Harris tactical radios use a unique encryption technique, different to the one used in units, which will be supplied by Harris based on individual contract for 2015-2019. The radios supplied in 2017 can only be acquired under a specific contract with the US government.
Radios, accessories and other parts of radio units, delivered to Latvia under both of the above agreements, shall be integrated into the joint command communications system with different data protection levels.
On 11 December 2017, Ministry of Defence and the US government signed a new contract for the delivery of Harris tactical radios and accessories worth more than USD 17 million. New units will enable the Latvian Armed Forces to create a modern radio communications system. According to the contract, the first batch of radios will be delivered to Latvia in the beginning of 2019.
Radio units and systems manufactured by the US company Harris are currently used by most NATO countries and countries participating in Partnership for Peace. Acquisition of these radios will boost the efficiency of communication systems used by the Latvian army and ensure compatibility of these systems with other NATO allies.
Operational needs of the National Armed Forces will require to continue acquisition of large quantities of Harris tactical radios in the coming years. Purchase of these radios is an integral part of army’s command capability development initiative, which is one of defence sector’s priorities.
Development of military radio communications systems based on modern technologies was launched by Latvian Armed Forces in 1998. According to radio communications strategy of Latvian Armed Forces, regular forces and National Guard units have been mostly equipped with Falcon-II and Falcon-III series radios and accessories manufactured by the US company Harris. First units of these series were delivered to the Latvian army in 1999.