VILNIUS - Lithuania plans to spend more than 1 billion euros on weapons from the US and Germany over the next couple of years, the country's Ministry of National Defencse says.
The United States and Germany are the main partners in the acquisition of weapons as the Lithuanian army has made procurements from the US for 0.5 billion euros and Germany for almost 1 billion euros over the last several years, the ministry pointed out.
As Lithuania is increasing its defense spending in response to Russia's war against Ukraine, the Baltic country plans to launch procurement procedures with each of the aforementioned countries in the near future and to spend more than 1 billion euros by 2027.
"Upon and during the implementation of the national defense upgrade program, capabilities of the Lithuanian army will increase, as will the country's defensibility. In parallel, the presence of allied forces in Lithuania will be expanded," Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anusauskas said in a statement.
Equipment acquired from the strategic partners forms the basis for the modernization of the Lithuanian army as the army is bolstering its maneuver and firepower, air defense and air surveillance, anti-tank, military intelligence, logistics and military medical capabilities, the ministry said.
The Lithuanian army is also buying equipment and machinery from Germany to beef up the Land Force's maneuver and firepower. For this purpose, infantry fighting vehicles "Vilkas" (Wolf) are being purchased and a project for self-propelled howitzers PzH2000 is being implemented.
In addition to the ongoing infantry fighting vehicle acquisition project, two additional Land Force battalions will be equipped with German armored platforms.
According to the statement, Germany remains a key partner in strengthening the Lithuanian Armed Forces' logistical capabilities through the acquisition of necessary transport platforms. A project for the acquisition of 10-ton trucks will be launched shortly.
To bolster anti-tank defense, Switchblade combat drone systems will be purchased from the United States, and they will allow destroying the opponent's armored fighting vehicles at a range of 40 km. Additional Javelin medium-range anti-tank systems will also be procured from the US. New radars will be purchased, the acquisition of four UH-60M multi-purpose helicopters will continue, and armored all-terrain vehicles and drones will be bought.
As part of the upgrade of the Lithuanian army, other key partners include the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, France, Italy and other NATO and EU countries. Air defense is being developed on the basis of the NASAMS medium-range air defense system acquired from Norway.