VILNIUS – Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas is visiting France on Thursday for talks with his French counterpart, Sebastien Lecorn, on the acquisition of Caesar Mark II wheeled self-propelled howitzers.
Anusauskas and Lecorn are also expected to discuss "bilateral cooperation, assistance to Ukraine and other key security and defense issues", the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said in a press release on Wednesday.
In June, the Lithuanian and French defense ministers signed a declaration of intent on the procurement of 18 pieces of the new generation self-propelled wheeled 155mm howitzers.
Lithuania has also decided to join the Caesar Mark II new generation artillery system development program of France's General Directorate for Armament.
The Lithuanian Defense Ministry is planning to spend 110 million to 150 million on the entire Caesar Mark II procurement project. The funds would cover the development and acquisition of the system, and its integration into the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
The ministry noted in the press release on Wednesday that France is an important defense and security ally of Lithuania.
"The French Air Force is for the first time conducting its ninth rotation of the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states with Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft, its most powerful air asset," it said.
"The French military is actively involved in the NATO eFP activities in the Baltic states and train with Lithuanian troops in exercises."