VILNIUS – Lithuania should rapidly develop a plan of its air defense objectives so as to be able to coordinate its needs with NATO, Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the Lithuanian parliament's Committee on National Security and Defense, has said.
The Committee on National Security and Defense discussed the issues of air defense with Chief of Defense Valdemaras Rupsys on Thursday.
“Given that the conclusions of the NATO summit include statements about certain elements of air defense in the region, it is necessary to rapidly draw a picture of our objectives so as to be able to bring that picture to NATO and see what to do. The radar system is in place, the eyes are functioning properly, but much still has to be done until reaching the complete picture,” Kasciunas told BNS.
“For instance, if we look at long-range air defense against ballistic missiles, we know about perfect weapons, the Patriot systems, one of which costs at least 1 billion euros. Of course, long-range [defense] is a NATO-level issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lithuania “could take care” of some short- and medium-range air defense systems, the politician noted.
In his turn, Rupsys told BNS that plans for the development of air defenses had been presented at the committee’s meeting.
“First of all, it is necessary to look at NATO decisions, which put clear emphasis on air defense, anti-missile air defense as a separate dimension. New regional NATO defense plans are being developed and will have to be approved next summer, and those plans will clearly integrate all dimensions, including the ground, air and sea,” he added.