“The qualitative change in the approach to capability building brings in the complex approach to armament projects, therefore the cutting-edge weaponry system acquisitions for national defence are carried out and the corresponding ammunition is purchased with it, as well as the infrastructure for equipment housing, maintenance and storing that is developed,” states Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas.
Anušauskas notes that military stockpile building is among the top priorities of the recent years which is paid increasingly more MoD attention and appropriations by the year. That is associated not only with the tense regional security situation but also with the wide-ranging modernization in the Lithuanian Armed Forces: acquisition of the NASAMS mid-range air defence system, HIMARS High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles, JLTV Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, PzH2000 and Ceasar howitzers, tactical drones, and other capabilities.
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence especially focused of military stockpiling last year in the wake of the dramatic change in the geopolitical situation. 2022 was a record year for stocking up, receiving almost one fifth of the defence budget (the considerable 18.3%) added up with the appropriations committed on top over the year. In comparison, the financing amounted to 17.7% of defence budget in 2021 and 11.2% in 2020. This year military stock appropriations are planned to reach approx. one fourth of a billion euros (13.4% defence budget), twice the amount allocated in 2020 (115.6 million euros).
The major part, or 90%, of the stockpiles is ammunition, with the remaining 10% constituted by different engineer items and explosive materials. Most of the ammunition procured for the Lithuanian Armed Forces, as much as three fourths, is made up by battle decisive munition, BDM, extensively used by NATO.
Acquisition of military stockpiles takes into account a part of routine force training, i.e., exercise and training events, however the major part of the purchase is stockpiled.