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Lithuanian Armed Forces Signs $495 Million Deal with US to Procure Eight HIMARS

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Lithuanian Armed Forces Signs $495 Million Deal with US to Procure Eight HIMARS

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M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)
M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)

Meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on December 15 Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas underscored the particularly significant importance the newly concluded contract on acquisition of High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) had for Lithuania’s national defence. According to Minister, the long-range rocket system is a new step towards a stronger Lithuanian military capability as it will significantly enhance the defensive power of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The signed M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) acquisition contract covers procurement of 8 launchers with live and blank ammunition including different types and combat characteristic guided missile pods, for example, the ATACMS Army Tactical Missile Systems with the effective range of 300 km. Lithuania also procures training and system maintenance equipment, services for personnel training, system integration and connection with the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS).

“I am glad the signature concerning acquisition of this crucial system has been concluded still this year. Now our talks with the U.S. proceed to address HIMARS integration – personnel training, maintenance. It is particularly important that the HIMARS is procured by all the Baltic states. We have been and we will be actively collaborating with Latvia and Estonia in developing this capability and enhancing security of the whole region. The first HIMARS deliveries are scheduled to take place in 2015. The U.S. military presence in Lithuania and the other Baltic states remains one of the key deterrents against Russia. I welcome the U.S. decision to maintain a continuous and persistent U.S. force presence in Lithuania. On our behalf, we continue investing and improving the infrastructure necessary for the arrival and presence of the deploying U.S. forces and we are prepared to ensure the conditions necessary for maintaining their readiness,” said Minister of National Defence of Lithuania A. Anušauskas.

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The Lithuania-US HIMARS acquisition deal was signed between Lithuanian and the US officials during a meeting on 15 December.
The Lithuania-US HIMARS acquisition deal was signed between Lithuanian and the US officials during a meeting on 15 December.

The deal is assessed to be worth approx. USD 495 million. The U.S. Government will place the order with the principal sale contractor, U.S. company Lockheed Martin. The acquired artillery rocket system is compatible with the other technologies used in the Lithuanian Armed Forces, therefore easier to integrate into the existing defence plans and step up deterrence. U.S. Secretary of Defense reiterated to Minister of National Defence the U.S. commitment to strengthen Lithuania’s security with persistent troops presence in the country and expressed gratitude for the Host Nation Support provided to Allied troops. Secretary Austin focussed substantially on Ukraine at the meeting, underscoring the deep U.S. commitment to support the country as it resisted the Russian aggression and defended its right to exist. Secretary of Defense thanked Lithuania for the relentless military support and training assistance to Ukraine that significantly furthered its self-defence, and welcomed the robust increasing defence spending and investment in new capabilities.

Minister of National Defence of Lithuania also had a meeting with Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and member of the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. Senate Roger Wicker whom he thanked for the U.S. commitments to the security of the Baltic region. Friday at the Pentagon Minister is also planned to meet with Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security Ronald S. Moultrie and U.S. Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth to address the important U.S. The United States is Lithuania’s partner and one of the key Allies for the security of the Baltic region. The Americans actively contribute to the security assurance in the Baltic states, contribute troops, finance and equipment to the regional defence thus strengthening regional security and stability.

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