Lithuania's Ministry of National Defence has decided to open talks with the Norwegian government on acquisition of medium-range missile defence systems NASAMS.
Missile defence systems NASAMS
© wikipedia.org nuotr.

"We have decided to open negotiations with the Norwegian government on possible purchase of the NASAMS systems," Lithuania's Defence Minister Juozas Olekas said after a meeting of the Defence Resource Council on Friday.

In his words, the price of the systems remains unclear.

Lithuania's Armed Forces currently have short-range aircraft defence systems only.

"This could simply defend our airspace in the medium range. We had short-rage aircraft defence systems that can reach 3-5km, and this will be the medium range where missiles fly dozens of kilometres and can take down targets at an altitude of 15km," Olekas said.

According to earlier reports, the medium-range aircraft defence project may be developed jointly by the three Baltic states.

Lithuania had long lagged behind its NATO allies in terms of military expenditure, but it has started boosting defence funding in recent years in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine and its military activity in the Baltic Sea region.

This year's budget stipulates €575 million for defence, which makes 1.48 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), with plans to raise the defence spending by €150 million next year.

BNS
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