On 20 October, Lithuania signed a technical agreement with Norway on procurement of launchers and missiles of Kongsberg’s mid-range Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS). The agreement endorsed by the Ministry of National Defence (MoND) of Lithuania and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Kingdom of Norway defines conditions and responsibilities of the parties concerning buying and selling NASAMS components as well as support Norway would render to Lithuania in developing mid-range air defence capabilities.
“Signature of this technical agreement is one of the most important phases in developing mid-range defence capabilities of the Lithuanian Armed Forces,” the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence, Juozas Olekas, said. “It is excellent that our partner Norway has not only agreed to sell NASAMS equipment which will strengthen security of Lithuania’s airspace but also to assist in introducing the system in the Lithuanian Armed Forces.”
The MoND of Lithuania continues the mid-range air defence system project to procure other NASAMS equipment, namely, radars and fire control centres. Ultimately, all the components will be joined into a system capable of air defence: Aerial surveillance and control, provide early warning for ground units, and destroy targets in case of necessity.
The mid-range air defence system project is estimated to cost a little over €100 million, the sum will be used to acquire two air defence batteries for the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
The mid-range NASAMS equipment is scheduled to be delivered to Lithuania by 2020.
The proven, fielded, reliable and highly capable NASAMS system contains a BMC4I (Battle Management, Command, Control, Computers, Communications, and Intelligence) air defence capability through the integration of sensors and launchers. It employs Raytheon’s Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AIM-120) as the primary weapon. Targets are detected and tracked by a high-resolution, 3D pencil beam radar. Multiple of these radars and the associated Fire Distribution Centres (FDCs) are netted together via radio data links, creating a real-time recognised air picture.