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5 biggest Lithuanian army acquisitions after Crimea annexation

VILNIUS – After Lithuania's Armed Forces and Norway's Kongsberg signed a contract on acquisition of medium-range anti-missile defense systems NASAMS last Thursday, BNS Lithuania provides a list of five biggest army acquisitions after the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia.

The acquisitions are presented from the biggest to the smallest.

BOXER INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLES. The 386-million-euro contract on acquisition of 88 armored vehicles was signed in August of 2016. The first few machines should reach Lithuania at the end of this year, with all of the vehicles delivered by 2021. The vehicles will be used to arm two military battalions in Rukla and Alytus. Turrets for the Boxers will be manufactured by an Israeli company, while the vehicles will be made by a German consortium.

NASAMS AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS. The anti-aircraft defense systems are bought from Norway's Kongsberg, with the value of the transaction reported at 110 million euros. The missiles will be designed to fly a few dozen km and shoot down targets at an altitude of 15 km, however, they will not be able to take down hostile missiles. Lithuania expects to receive the systems by 2021. They will be stationed in Radviliskis, northern Lithuania, with the possibility of moving them to any part of the country.

TRUCKS. A contract with Germany's Daimler AG was signed at the end of 2015. Under the deal, 340 Unimog U5000 trucks will be delivered to Lithuania by 2022 for 63 million euros. The new machines were purchased to modernize the army's truck depot.

ARTILLERY GUNS. In September of 2015, Lithuania's army signed a contract to purchase self-propelled howitzers after owning towed howitzers only. Lithuania will purchase 21 PzH2000 howitzers, 26 command vehicles M577 V2 and six BPZ2 evacuation tanks. The contract is estimated at 16 million euros, however, to acquire the capacity, Lithuania will have to spend a lot more through modernization of the howitzers and implement other projects. Lithuania's Defense Ministry has said an additional 40 million euros could be needed. Lithuania has so far received four howitzers, while the rest of the equipment should arrive by 2019.

GROM AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS. A contract on acquisition of the systems was signed with Poland's Mesko in September of 2014. The weaponry numbers are withheld, while the value of the contract totals at 34 million euros. GROM can take down targets at a distance of 400 km and altitude of up to 3.5 km. All of the systems should be delivered by 2021.

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