Earlier in December Commander of the Lithuanian Air Force Colonel Dainius Guzas and Head of the Acquisition Management Department of the Defence Materiel Agency of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence Mr. Eivind Fagge signed a technical agreement regarding procurement of NASAMS ground-based mid-range air defence system combat and inert missiles from the Norwegian Ministry of Defence at a meeting at the Defence Materiel Agency under the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania.
“This additional agreement takes us a step closer to the NASAMS mid-range air defence systems in the Lithuanian Armed Forces. It is one of the most strategically important acquisitions that strengthens airspace defence and an effective deterrent that will allow no aggressor to feel safe in our airspace” Col D. Guzas said.
“Air defence is one of the most important elements of national defence and it has been receiving substantial attention in Lithuania recently, therefore the Defence Materiel Agency agreed on acquisition of additional missiles with the Norwegian Ministry of Defence on particularly favourable conditions,” Chief Advisor at the Defence Materiel Agency, institution in charge of implementing the project, Col Valdas Šiaučiulis underscores.
According to the contract signed by the Ministry of National Defence and Norway’s Kongsberg NASAMS manufacturer on 26 October 2017, the system procured by Lithuania is new, except for launchers that are pre-used by the Norwegian Armed Forces and currently upgraded. The systems procured from Norway use U.S.-made AMRAAM aircraft defence missiles capable of destroying aircraft and missiles of an adversary several tens of kilometres away.
“We also pay great attention to training future operators of the system, Lithuanian Air Force personnel, to control and maintain the air defence system, for which reason we have agreed with the Norwegian Air Force on training courses and joint exercises with our troops,” Deputy Director of the Defence Materiel Agency for Systems Lieutenant Colonel Jurijus Gvozdas says.
All the procured equipment is planned to be delivered to Lithuania, all personnel trained, and all components integrated into one system capable of air defence – airspace surveillance and control, air threat warning, and target destruction - by 2021. NASAMS systems will be given to the Air Defence Battalion of the Lithuanian Air Force, the systems are suitable for quick redeployment to any location in Lithuania or any NATO area of operation.
Preliminary value of the NASAMS system procurement project, which is equipment for two air defence batteries, logistical support package and training for operators and service personnel, is approximately 110 million Euros.
The Defence Materiel Agency under the MoD was established earlier this year to be in charge for National Defence System acquisitions and implementation of strategic weaponry projects of the National Defence System.