RIGA/TALLINN - Finland, Latvia and the Finnish-Norwegian defense industry group Patria have signed a research and development agreement for a common armored vehicle system as a next step in their collaborative program after the countries last spring signed a joint technical arrangement.
The purpose of the R&D agreement is to develop a common armored vehicle system, based on the Patria 6x6 vehicle and developed to meet the common requirements of the countries. The agreement also allows for the development of other new vehicle variants and system features later, Patria said in a press release.
The joint Finnish-Latvian research and development organization will direct and supervise development work, in which Finland will act as the leading country.
Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said that the new research and development agreement is a significant milestone in the National Armed Forces' development as the planned in-depth cooperation with the Finnish partners will help find the best solutions for enhancing troops' mobility. "If the project proves successful, it will also benefit Latvia's industrial enterprises," the minister said.
Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen voiced satisfaction that despite the situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the two countries have managed to advance their bilateral defense cooperation. Latvia and Finland have managed to coordinate their requirements and reach the agreement, the Finnish minister said.
Jussi Jarvinen, president of Patria's Land business unit, described the collaborative program as a unique multinational cooperation which is built on identified common benefits over the full lifetime of the system.
"Patria is proud of being able to provide our expertise in the joint development programs into use of this program. The participating countries will seek for a very cost-effective solution that will certainly be of interest to other countries as well who are keen on enhancing their army mobility," Jarvinen said.
Patria launched its 6x6 vehicle at the Eurosatory fair in 2018. The Patria 6x6 vehicle combines all the proven features of Patria’s XA and AMV vehicles. It is simplified, reliable and designed to meet the highest requirements of customers. Its state-of-the-art terrain mobility is guaranteed by an efficient power unit and the independent suspension familiar from the Patria's AMV vehicle, the news release said.
Due to the spacious cabin and well-defined functions, the vehicle is easy to operate and to train. Reliability and low life cycle costs are underlined by the multitude of commercial components used in the vehicle.
The key areas of Patria’s Land business unit are armored wheeled vehicles, mortar systems and related lifecycle support services. Its business unit employs 230 people in Hameenlinna and Tampere.
Patria is an international provider of defense, security and aviation life cycle support services, pilot training and technology solutions. Patria provides its aerospace and military customers with equipment availability, continuous performance development as well as selected intelligence, surveillance and management system products and services.
Patria has several locations including Finland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Estonia and Spain. Ita net sales totaled 507.5 million euros in 2019, and Patria employs 3,000 professionals. Patria is owned by the State of Finland with a holding of 50.1 percent and Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS with a holding of 49.9 percent.