Lithuania's Armed Forces should step up its artillery capacities by purchasing 155mm self-propelled howitzers, Chief of Defence Major General Jonas Vytautas Žukas said on Tuesday.
Jonas Vytautas Žukas
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The general proposed that Lithuania buy the new artillery items before 2016-2019, the date stipulated in the current plans.

In Žukas' words, both war sciences and examples of today's military conflicts show that the fire support is one of the key elements of contemporary battle, and the importance of the capacity is increasing.

"Our acquisition plans for 2015-2020 envisage that the project of buying 155mm self-propelled howitzers will be implemented in 2016-2019. As of today, the Defence Ministry's specialists have finalized the operational requirements for the systems of weapons and are coordinating them with their Estonian colleagues who have experience in buying the systems," the general wrote in his Facebook feed.

"I believe that amid the unpredictable security situation and the increased defence funding, we should not wait until 2016. We should assess the offers we have without delay, revise our plans and make every effort to provide Lithuania's manoeuvre units with efficient artillery fire support as soon as possible," said Žukas.

Experts say the importance of artillery capacities was once again certified by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine where Ukraine's army is fighting Russia-supported separatists.

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