American radar in Latvia near Russian border will become operational by the end of september.

RIGA, June 16, 2003. /from RIA Novosti correspondent Anatoli Baranovski/--Latvian Defence Ministry representative Airis Rikveilis announced that the American radar TPS-117 in the Latvian village of Audrini near the Russian border will become operational only by the end of September this year.

According to Mr. Rikveilis, the preliminary date for the installation of the radar with an operational radius of 450 km was set for June 15th and the construction was originally planned to be finished by the end of August. However, according to the present schedule, the TPS-117 will become operational sometime in the middle or at the end of September. The precise schedule is still being discussed with American experts.

The radar complex has not been transported from the United States yet. It's scheduled to arrive in Latvia in the beginning of June. The experts are now trying to figure out the best mode of overseas transportation.

The decision to install the 15 million-dollar 3-D radar has been made by the Latvian government in response to the US request. The radar will become part of NATO airspace monitoring network.

[Source: Russian Information Agency (Novosti), June 16, 2003]

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