Covid-19 pandemic puts on hold supply of Black Hawk helicopters to Latvian armed forces

Due to the ongoing pandemic the supply of Black Hawk helicopters to Latvian national armed forces will be delayed, as reported to Saeima’s Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee by the commander of Latvia’s army Leonīds Kalniņš on Wednesday, 3 November.
It is planned the first Black Hawk will be delivered to Latvia at the end of 2022 and the next two in 2023. The last one will be supplied in 2024, Kalniņš reported.
The commander of the armed forces did not deny that suppliers explain delays with the ongoing pandemic.
Commander of Latvian Air Force Viesturs Masulis said in an interview to the Ministry of Defence portal that the contract signed with USA regarding the supply of Black Hawk helicopters initially provided for receiving the first two helicopters by the end of 2022 and the other two by the end of 2023.
Masulis said that Latvia’s army plans to continue using the four existing Mi-17 helicopters until the end of 2025. The Ministry of Defence will decide what to do with them after 2025.
As previously reported, in September 2018 Latvia’s government approved the procurement of four Black Hawk helicopters EUR 175 million each. An intergovernmental agreement was signed with USA. The amount of co-financing of this project from USA will be USD 15.5 million.