Home Europe US donates M72 LAW anti-tank weapons to Lithuania

US donates M72 LAW anti-tank weapons to Lithuania

Photo: Lithuanian defense ministry

The United States has delivered M72 LAW light anti-tank weapons to Lithuanian Armed Forces and will officially hand them over in a ceremony in Vilnius on April 14.

The training and combat M72 LAW light anti-armor weapons donated by the US will supplement the National Defence Volunteer Forces or NDVF (Lithuanian: KASP) stocks and increase its firepower.

M72 LAW will be distributed among KASP territorial units, and all infantry squads will get the new equipment. The LAW is designed to destroy adversary armored combat equipment and field engineering fortifications.

According to the Lithuanian defense ministry, the assistance package is worth $10 million. The US Army has not only presented the M72 LAW in training and combat variants but also taught KASP instructors to operate the weapon.

Lithuanian defense minister Arvydas Anušauskas, Ambassador of the United States to Lithuania Robert S. Gilchrist, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys representatives of the Ministry of National Defence and the Lithuanian Armed Forces are planned to be in attendance at the event.

“We appreciate deeply the US assistance in strengthening Lithuania’s defensive capabilities. We also extend our gratitude for the gift of light anti-tank weapons, it will significantly contribute to a stronger deterrence, better security of the Baltic region, and to a stronger National Defence Volunteer Force of the Lithuanian Armed Forces as well,” defense minister Anušauskas said.

“We understand clearly the complex security situation that our region is in, therefore we invest in our own security, 2% of GDP, we are increasing and modernizing our armed forces. We cooperate closely with the United States in acquisitions of modern equipment (helicopters, armored tactical vehicles) and ammunition (JAVELIN anti-tank missile systems).”

In November 2020, Lithuania announced its decision to sign a contract for the purchase of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters from the US. The €181 million contract ($213 million), included four helicopters and an option for two more helicopters to be built in the future.

The country previously signed up for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) with Oshkosh Defense receiving a $407.3 million contract for the production of JLTVs for Lithuania and Slovenia. Lithuania expects to buy a total of 200 vehicles.