The efficiency of the military equipment purchased by Lithuania is several dozen to several hundred times higher than that of Russian equipment, according to arms expert Darius Antanaitis to lrytas.lt news portal.
D. Antanaitis, who is returning from Europe’s largest defence and security exhibition Eurosatory in Paris, assessed in Lietuvos rytas TV’s ” Nauja diena” (New Day) the latest purchases of Lithuanian military equipment and how Ukraine, which is inferior to Russia both in terms of weapons and human resources, can still gain an advantage over the aggressor.
When the Ministry of Defence announces purchases of new military equipment, a military expert argues that Lithuania chooses its weapons not based on the most affordable price but on the basis of their modernity and efficiency.
“From an outsider’s point of view, the latest purchases show that the Lithuanian Armed Forces are looking at efficiency, not price. We can buy very cheap nonsense, but it will break or be ineffective. What needs to be evaluated is the job the item will do”, the expert said.
Antanaitis is convinced that the budget should be less of a consideration when buying combat equipment, as it is not possible to save money in terms of human or state security.
“We can see from recent purchases that we are buying something that will serve us for 30-50 years. The life cycle of combat equipment is calculated between 30 and 50 years. What we are buying now is still state-of-the-art today – we will be able to use it efficiently for another 30 years.
Be that as it may, Russia is our greatest enemy and a threat to our statehood. If we compare the efficiency of our technology – how much work and how fast our equipment can do it – it is dozens to hundreds of times more efficient than what the Russian army’s equipment can do,” Antanaitis said.
For example, according to the weapons expert, the PzH2000 howitzers that Lithuania has are five times more efficient than Russian howitzers in terms of firing range, rapid-fire and barrel stability.
“Instead of cluttering our country with cheap nonsense, we choose efficiency. It’s like a conveyor belt: you have a target, and you hit the target. I think this is a very wise decision”, he concluded.
In June, the Ministry of National Defence announced plans to buy 18 new generations of French Caesar Mark II self-propelled wheeled howitzers for the Lithuanian army.
Situation in Ukraine
However, in the fight in Ukraine, Russia is outgunned by the Ukrainians both in terms of firepower and manpower. Antanaitis notes that sometimes five hundred weapons can be enough instead of five hundred.
“It doesn’t really matter how many targets the enemy has set up – because they are just targets. It’s not the quantity that matters, and it’s the quality – if you can do the job five times faster with one tool than the next person with five tools, you should take one tool.
As far as superiority is concerned, the Russians have more of everything. But the Ukrainians need to rethink that when they use Western technology, they use higher quality, more efficient technology. They don’t need much – they need more precision, speed, and efficiency. So, therefore, it is not mass versus quality, but quality versus mass”, he said.
Asked how much more weaponry the Ukrainians would need to gain the upper hand, Antanaitis reiterated the importance of the whole rather than the quantity of equipment.
“Let’s put Western thinking into action: armaments are not just about quantity – it doesn’t mean that I brought a bag of howitzers, dumped them, and they are already working. Armaments also include intelligence because you have to see where you are firing. You have to have counter-intelligence – the enemy must not see you. Soldiers have to be trained in technology.
I cannot talk about how many armaments are needed. In Syria, for example, a small number of US special forces troops completely destroyed and annihilated 300 Russian mercenaries with howitzers, tanks and heavy weapons. And ten people did that just by using technology,” Antanaitis recalled.
The UK’s initiative to train hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers in advanced missile systems may therefore be no less significant than iron.
“People need to know how to fight – what good is it if you put a soldier on the battlefield who is either ill-prepared or unprepared. Not only will the soldier die, but he will jeopardise the whole operation, a huge operation – one man, can ruin everything. That is why training, learning, is very important – so that one soldier kills ten enemy soldiers and lives on for his country,” said the warfare expert.
Returning from the World Arms Exhibition in Paris, Antanaitis is currently in Nice, which used to be a favourite destination for wealthy Russian tourists. However, on this visit, he said, the picture in Nice was somewhat different.
“There are quite a lot of pro-Ukraine signs and flags. I didn’t meet any Russian speakers in the first few days, but I did see them later, but they speak softly and are pretty modest.
Nevertheless, we never forget to turn our backpacks to them, which bear the Ukrainian flag and the famous phrase spoken by Ukrainian border guards to a Russian warship,” said Antanaitis.