Home Europe Lithuania buys two NASAMS air-defense launchers for Ukraine

Lithuania buys two NASAMS air-defense launchers for Ukraine

Lithuanian NASAMS launchers for Ukraine
Photo: Lithuanian Army

The Lithuanian defense ministry has signed a contract with Norwegian company Kongsberg for the purchase of two NASAMS air defense system launchers that will be delivered to Ukraine.

The contract, which is worth around 9.8 million euros according to the defense ministry, was signed on June 27.

Lithuania will also be taking care of the delivery and transfer of these launchers to Ukraine and expects to complete the process within the next three months.

The Norwegian defense ministry will make an additional contribution by donating rocket launch system support equipment.

“Upgraded NASAMS missile launch systems are being purchased, which will be fully prepared so that the Ukrainian army can integrate them into existing fire control units, thereby supplementing and expanding the operational capacity of the Norwegian and US-donated NASAMS systems currently in use in Ukraine,” Lithuanian defense minister Arvydas Anušauskas said.

Medium-range air defense systems NASAMS are also used by the Lithuanian Army. Jointly developed and produced by Raytheon and Kongsberg, NASAMS consists of the Sentinel radar, Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, and KDA’s fire distribution center. Other missiles that can be launched from a NASAMS include the AIM-120 AMRAAM B/C5/C7, and the AIM 9-X Sidewinder Block II missile.

The planned package of Lithuanian military support to Ukraine will include not only NASAMS missile launch systems, but also 10 M113 armored personnel carriers. With the latest handover, the total number of these armored personnel carriers transferred by Lithuania will reach 72.

For 2023, Lithuania has ordered the production of 12.5 million cartridges, of which 2.5 million will be handed over in the near future. Thousands of anti-tank ammunition for grenade launchers will also be transferred soon. With this new support package, the total value of military support to Ukraine will exceed half a billion euros, the defense ministry said.

Lithuania’s defense ministry has also committed to continue supporting Ukraine in the long term, with the prepared military support plan foreseeing at least 200 million euros worth of support between 2024 and 2026.

It is worth noting that Lithuania is announcing the donation after this month’s Ukraine Defence Contact Group (UDCG) meeting which saw allies set up a fund that would “facilitate the acquisition of numerous short and medium-range air defense systems.”

In March this year, Norway also announced it would be delivering two NASAMS systems to Ukraine.