Lithuania to spend €50m on anti-tank missiles and launchers

Javelin anti-tank missile. Photo Wikipedia

“The proposed sale directly supports U.S. national security interests by bolstering the Lithuanian military’s ability to effectively defend its border and effectively coordinate regional border security with its Baltic neighbours,” said the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

“Neighbouring NATO Allies would view this procurement as a positive step towards ensuring regional stability,” the agency said.

The total value of the deal for the missiles and launchers and related equipment and support is estimated at $55 million. The US agency notified the US Congress of the possible sale on Monday.

The javelin systems are designed to combat armoured vehicles, including tanks, as well as helicopters and fortifications. The proposed sale of the Javelins will provide Lithuania with increased capacity to meet its defensive needs, according to the US defence agency.

The agency said supporting the Lithuanian Land Force’s modernization also supports the fielding of forces better able to contribute to NATO operations in the future.

Lithuania intends to expand its defence budget by 35.2% in 2016, reaching a total expenditure of €574 million. With the increase planned for 2016, the Ministry of Defence’s budget will grow to 1.5% of gross domestic product, up from 1.1% in 2015.

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