Latvia Halts Armored Vehicle Contract over Manipulation Concerns

The Latvian defense ministry halted a contract estimated at €181 million ($206 million) to buy wheeled armored vehicles from Finland’s Sisu Auto after two other bidders, AM General from the United States and South Africa’s Paramount Group, filed complaints on the tender, Defense News reported.

The defense ministry picked Sisu Auto’s offer over bids submitted by AM General, Paramount Group, and Turkey’s Otokar. Sisu Auto offered its GTP 4x4 vehicle, AM General said it would supply the High Mobility Multi-PurposeWheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), Otokar offered the Cobra, while Paramount Group had offered its Marauder. The contract with the winning bidder will be for ten years.

A local TV channel claims that an advisor for the Latvian Defense Minister was engaged in lobbying activity on behalf of the Paramount Group (which eventually lost the tender).

The Baltic Times adds that some of the bidding companies did not meet some of the procurement requirements. According to the report, Paramount’s vehicles were unable to meet some of the Armed Forces' requirements during the tests.