Lithuania eyes Norwegian air defense system

Lithuania-eyes-Norwegian-air-defense-system.  VILNIUS, Lithuania,  Lithuania is to hold talks with Norway on procuring the Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System.

Lithuania-eyes-Norwegian-air-defense-system
The NASAMS air defense missile system was developed by Norway’s Kongsberg Defense and Raytheon. Photo by Kongsberg

The decision on talks for the medium-range defense system was made late last week by the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense.

“We have decided to open negotiations with the Norwegian government on possible purchase of the NASAMS systems,” Lithuania’s Defense Minister Juozas Olekas told the Baltic News Service, but no details of possible system price was disclosed.

“This could simply defend our airspace in the medium range,” the minister said. “We have short-range aircraft defense systems that can reach three to five kilometers [about 1.8 to 3.1 miles], and this will be the medium range where missiles fly dozens of kilometers and can take down targets at an altitude of 15 kilometers [about 9.3 miles].”

Lithuania has been boosting its military capabilities following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and Moscow’s military activities in the Baltic Sea region.

The Baltic Times said Lithuania’s 2016 defense budget is nearly $539.6 million, with plans to increase it by about $166.8 million in 2017.

By Richard Tomkins

UPI NEWS