On June 19 the NASAMS (National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) medium-range air defence systems procured from Norway were delivered to the Air Defence Battalion of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The modern air defence equipment will provide the Lithuanian Air Force with a several tens of kilometres effective range capability.
"Arrival of the systems has made the Lithuanian air defence stronger and contributes to further strengthening of deterrence. If we link together all elements of the defence system, we get good results that will make potential aggressor think twice, and consequently give us more security and discretion," Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys says.
NASAMS is the most widely used mid-range air defence system in NATO member states, and even for guarding the airspace over the White House. Lithuania has acquired the most recent, third generation, NASAMS 3, its current users are still only the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of Norway, the manufacturer.
The procured NASAMS systems comprise many components - fire control centres, missile launchers, communications equipment, etc. Lithuania also upgraded the RBS70 short-range air defence systems it has been using, both systems will be integrated to form an overall Lithuanian airspace defence shield.
Training of qualified personnel for work with the new equipment began in Norway in the end of last year according to methodology and programs developed by the Norwegian Armed Forces and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. Further training will be carried in Lithuania by Norwegian professionals on the ground, in the Air Defence Battalion. The personnel is planned to be fully trained by 2021 and integration of the systems into the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) will begin.