The Latvian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the delivery of two indigenously developed Tarragon two-seater trainer aircraft.

Manufactured by Latvia-based company SIA Pelegrin, the aircraft were handed over to the Latvian Air Force at Ādaži airfield on 2 December. 

Following the delivery, the Latvian Air Force’s pilots flew the aircraft from Ādaži airfield to the National Armed Forces’ air base, which will be the permanent home base of the new Tarragons.

The arrival of the new trainer jets at the home base was marked by a welcome ceremony, in presence of Latvian Air Force commander colonel Viesturs Masulis.

Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks said: “Thanks to the cooperation between the defence industry and military industry, not only automotive but also aircraft production has been reborn in Latvia.

“We can be proud of the achievements of our masters, following in the footsteps of the legendary constructor Kārlis Irbīte – already now interest in the models produced by the company is shown by many countries of the world!”

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According to the Latvian MoD, the new Tarragons will be the first aircraft to be operated to train the Air Force’s trainee pilots and aircrew members.

The aircraft will also be deployed to perform a wide range of operational tasks and for maintaining qualifications.

Pelegrin Tarragon is a two-seater aircraft that can fly at a maximum height of 3.5km while operating at speeds of up to 370km/h. It also has a low maintenance cost.

The landing distance offered by aircraft on asphalt pavement is around 150m and the minimum take-off distance is 225m.

The aircraft were manufactured locally to support the MoD’s efforts to prioritise the involvement of domestic companies and organisations to enhance the National Armed Forces’ capabilities.