Germany continues to reinforce the capabilities of NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania. Lithuania had asked NATO to add more troops and equipment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The deployments, which are also due to include more troops from the United States and the Netherlands, are separate from troops coming for military exercises Lithuania is set to host in March. The deployments and exercises will increase the total number of foreign NATO troops in Lithuania to 4,000. The Lithuania multinational battalion battle group is based in Rukla and led by Germany.
Responding to the current security situation, the German Army has deployed OZELOT short-range self-propelled air defence system in Lithuania this week. The Ozelot (Wiesel 2 Air Defence Weapon Carrier) is built on the Wiesel 2 small armoured tracked vehicle. The Ozelot carries two box launchers containing four ready-to-fire FIM-92 Stingers surface-to-air missiles but can also be armed with Igla, Mistral, LFK NG, RBS 70 mk2 or Starburst missiles. Ozelot is air-transportable in a CH-53 helicopter. An army platoon would be equipped with an air defence platoon command post and typically between five and eight Ozelot air defence weapon platforms.
Target acquisition is achieved, either by the HARD radar, which downloads target data via radio data link to the Ozelot weapon platform or by the Thales (formerly Pilkington) Optronics ADAD passive infrared search and track system (IRST), mounted on the forward part of the roof. For target tracking, the Ozelot is equipped with its own stabilised forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, TV and laser rangefinder as well as dual-mode auto-tracking. The system is capable of automatic range and envelope determination and fire control and second shot capability on the same approaching target. The platoon command post is also based on the Wiesel 2 vehicle.
The Wiesel 2 armoured vehicle family was developed by Rheinmetall Defence for the German Army (Bundeswehr). It was derived from the Wiesel 1 Armoured Weapons Carrier (AWC). The first Wiesel 2 light air-transportable armoured fighting vehicle was unveiled in June 1994. The engine was changed to a 1.9L Volkswagen in-line four-cylinder turbo diesel with direct injection and intercooler, giving 109 hp (81 kW) coupled to a ZF automatic transmission. The Wiesel 2 is generally bigger, faster and stronger than the Wiesel 1, with advanced features for the protection of the crew such as enhanced armour, and air conditioning system, and NBC protection.
???? Germany continues to reinforce the capabilities of @BG_LTU_eFP. Responding to the current security situation, Germany has deployed OZELOT short-range self-propelled air defence system in Lithuania this week. This short-range air defence system is armed with Stinger missiles. pic.twitter.com/m433WEte7P
— Lithuanian MOD (@Lithuanian_MoD) April 2, 2022