Lithuania has procured 36 advanced AIM-120C-8 medium-range air-to-air missiles and other equipment and support to Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Agreement. with the US government for $100 million on October 23, 2023.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency says it intends to use the missiles with Lithuania’s Ground-Based Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), of which it uses two batteries ordered from Norwegian supplier Kongsberg in 2017.
The AMRAAM has a length of 3.6 meters, a diameter of 17.7 centimeters (cm) and a wingspan of 52.5 cm. The launch weight of the rocket is 150.7 kilograms (kg). It can carry an 18.1 kg high-explosive fragmentation warhead with a maximum range of between 20 nautical miles (nm) to 30 nm.
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Securing Baltic airspace: policing and missile defense
Lithuania’s mandate comes after the Baltic nation called on its NATO partners to fulfill pledges made at June’s Vilnius summit to bolster the alliance’s eastern flank.
“We [must] quickly implement the decisions taken in Vilnius,” Lithuanian National Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas urged, referring to the implementation of a rotational air defense model where Western partners send their missile defense systems (MDS) to secure Baltic airspace.
While Lithuania clearly pursues a policy of collective air defense across NATO’s eastern flank, the nation expects its partners to return the favor.
NATO is long-standing air policing missionin which countries operate in Baltic airspace on a rotational basis, does not seem to be enough for Anušauskas, who argues that a “transition” from air policing to air defense is imperative.
USA provides European MDS
According to GlobalData Intelligence, RTX Corp will be the third highest revenue earner for 2023–33.
The company is expected to generate $30.82 billion in profits due to the procurement of the Patriot missile defense system from Poland, Switzerland, Romania and Spain, along with the RIM-162 ESSM and various variants of the AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles from the UK. , Belgium and Portugal, among others.
Most acquisitions in Lithuania and the Baltic region are from the US and Germany, a European country that has recently supplied Estonia and Latvia with the medium-range MDS Iris-T.
While this makes it difficult for non-Lithuanian companies to sell into its defense market, American integration still has its advantages.
The Western superpower is beginning to prioritize the Baltic region as a matter of policy, which will allow Lithuania to integrate US-made, NATO-standard weapons systems in the same way as other European countries such as Poland and Estonia.
Read the original at Defence247.gr