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Lithuania acquires short-range air defence missiles from Saab

Source: MoD of Republic of Lithuania

The Defence Materiel Agency under the Ministry of National Defence of Republic of Lithuania has signed a contract with Sweden’s SAAB Dynamics AB on acquisition of Bolide and MK-2 type guided missiles for RBS-70 short-range anti-aircraft defence system. The procured missiles will ensure a more effective execution of air defence tasks.

RBS-70 systems are used by the Lithuanian Air Defence Battalion. The short-range system was picked for its undemanding operation, mobility and being completely mechanical and electromagnetic interference-proof.

The MK-2 altitude and distance ranges up to 4 km and 7km respectively, the missiles are used by a number of other NATO allies. The Bolide missiles are an advance version of the MK-2, the improved engine adds speed and maneuver, as well as expands the altitude and distance parameters. The value of the contract totals up to approx. EUR 45 million.

According to Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas, with the growing trajectory of defence spending, Lithuania becomes able to step up defence procurement and ensure a better readiness of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

Lithuania learns from Ukraine’s lessons and focuses on investing in air defence: acquires air defence systems, strengthens airspace surveillance and control, and strengthens the Host Nation Support to ensure the ability to receive allies quickly and efficiently.

NATO fighter capabilities have been conducting air policing functions in the Baltic states since 2004. During peacetime, NATO fighter aircraft are patrolling the Baltic skies and respond to airspace trespassing thus contributing to airspace surveillance and control.

Lithuania is an element of the collective defence architecture of the Alliance and maintains readiness for defence of the country and the entire Alliance alongside other Allies. NATO draws and consistently updates defence plans that ensure the collective response to crises or conflicts. Defence plans are also improved via regular exercises so that the Alliance space is comprehensively secured against any aggression.

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