Blog: Brexit Britain to train Latvian Air Force as EU snubbed in favour of British company – Express

With Latvia being on the doorstep of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the opportunity will see the UK provide intelligence training, surveillance training and reconnaissance techniques known as ISR to a NATO partner. The move comes as a snub to the European Union, of which Latvia is a member, and sees the small ex-Soviet state choose options outside the EU in order to obtain its defence training.

As tension mounts in Ukraine as Russian troops deploy ever closer, the training will be an ideal opportunity for Brexit Britain to demonstrate its flagship capabilities in the service and military industries.

In a contract worth an undisclosed amount of money, British military training firm Inzpire will see Latvian Air Force personnel study a tailored version of the Inzpire Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) and Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) ISR Tactics course.

This course has been expanded to cover mission preparation and tactical employment of UAS. It has also been modified “to suit the customer’s unique requirements with the inclusion of local area mission planning tasks”, Inzpire noted.

Andy Bain, head of the ISR division at Inzpire, said that “inclusive UAS and ISR training will enable the LAF to further develop their own indigenous ISR capability and decisively manage and integrate their UAS into the NATO Joint ISR (JISR) system for wider ISR collection.”

Mr Bain explained that the newly-signed contract serves as a “fantastic opportunity” to expand the company’s business interests in the European region.

The training will include local area mission planning tasks and cover vital ISR principles to help in mission preparation and tactical deployment of unmanned systems.

Both live-flying and classroom-based training will take place in support of the country’s procurement of a new ISR platform.

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The potential exists for an alliance with NATO members and assistance for armed forces in Eastern countries to prepare for potential conflict and manage the protection of critical national infrastructures.

Mr Bain stated that the training would enhance Latvia’s defence response against evolving security threats and challenges in Europe.

Latvia is procuring a new UAS platform for ISR; the exact type is unknown although reports last year in the Turkish media indicated interest from the Baltic republic in buying the Bayraktar TB2. Latvia is also a partner in the multinational NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force, comprising five RQ-4D Phoenix UAVs based on the Block 40 Global Hawk.

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With Russia escalating its presence on the border of Ukraine, the interaction between Britain and former Soviet Republic states also sends a clear message to President Putin.

Already, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has promised Massive coordinated sanctions threatened against Russia if it launches military action against Ukraine.

Her remarks appear indirectly to confirm that if Russia mounts an incursion into Ukraine it could be excluded from Swift, the messaging network used by 11,000 banks in 200 countries to make cross-border payments.

The US and its Nato allies have said repeatedly it has a package of massive sanctions ready to be launched if Russia presses ahead with an invasion, but has refused to spell out details in public.

Ms Truss said: “The UK is working with our partners on these sanctions, including high-impact measures targeting the Russian financial sector and individuals.” She also disclosed she will travel to Ukraine next month.

The Foreign Secretary was making a Commons statement before a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday, a final conference among western nations before they hold a string of meetings with Russia next week, including a bilateral meeting between the US and Russia on future security relations on Monday.

Ms Truss said these meetings were “absolutely critical for peace and security in Europe”, adding they were in her view about insisting Russia abide by its past commitments concerning Ukraine’s sovereignty.

The new head of Brexit negotiations has also been leading the calls in Europe to take a tough line with Russia, insisting it is vital that the west does not succumb to the false Russian narrative that NATO is an offensive alliance or a threat to Moscow.

She argued it would be wrong to remove from Ukraine the right to join NATO, saying: “The UK remains supportive of Ukraine’s NATO membership aspirations in line with the 2008 Bucharest summit declaration.”

She added: “There is no justification whatsoever for Russia’s bellicose stance towards Ukraine. It is unprovoked and it is part of a wider pattern of behaviour by the Kremlin, reliant on disinformation and mistrust to seek to gain an upper hand.”

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