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Latvia buys surveillance radars from U.S. Lockheed Martin

RIA Novosti

19/12/2007 20:20 WASHINGTON, December 19 (RIA Novosti) - Latvia will buy two long-range air surveillance radars from the U.S. Lockheed Martin Corporation in a deal worth $44 million, the company's official website said.

As part of the deal, Latvia's National Armed Forces will acquire "two long-range AN/TPS-77 transportable air surveillance radar systems, as well as options for long-term technical support," the site said.

The new radars are expected to extend the capabilities of BALTNET, the joint air surveillance network of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, and the agreement included "priced options for up to four additional TPS-77 radars for Estonia and Lithuania."

Brigadier General Juris Maklakovs, commander of Latvia's armed forces, said the new system would "further enhance air surveillance within Latvia, while helping us [Latvia] complete our national defense requirements."

"We're pleased to provide these systems to one of our nation's strategic allies," said Carl Bannar, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Radar Systems.

The 3-D long-range surveillance radars are known for their ease of deployment, performance and reliability, they provide commanders with 24-hour coverage and "accurate target data at ranges up to 250 nautical miles and elevations up to 100,000 feet."

The transaction comes amid raised Russia-U.S. tensions over the deployment of a missile defense system by the U.S. in the Czech Republic and Poland in order to counter missile strikes from so called rogue states.

Russia has repeatedly said the move would threaten its national security offering Washington joint use of radars in south Russia and Azerbaijan as an alternative.

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