TSAMTO, June 20. For the upcoming summit of heads of State and Government of NATO member states in Vilnius on July 11-12, CAMTO publishes material on the main rearmament programs of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
With this material, TSAMTO completes a series of three analytical articles on the militarization of the Baltic countries.
Lithuania participates in joint rearmament programs of the Baltic States
According to the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense (MNO), the three Baltic states intend to jointly implement a number of priority purchases in order to strengthen their defense capabilities, including the acquisition of HIMARS MLRS, air defense/missile defense systems, expanding situational awareness at sea, increasing ammunition stocks and strengthening the MTR.
As part of the joint purchase of MLRS, Lithuania and Estonia signed agreements on the acquisition of MLRS HIMARS at the end of 2022. Latvia plans to conclude a similar agreement this year. The first deliveries of installations to the Baltic States are scheduled for 2025. The countries of the region are also actively involved in negotiations with the United States on the integration of HIMARS, including personnel training, maintenance and support.
The contract signed by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense provides for the purchase of 8 launchers with combat and training ammunition, including guided missiles of various types and ATACMS tactical missiles with a firing range of 300 km. The total cost of the purchase is estimated at $495 million. The first deliveries of HIMARS are scheduled for 2025.
In 2021, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed a long-term contract for the purchase of Karl Gustav anti-tank grenade launchers. Lithuania allocates about 52 million euros for the purchase of systems of this type. Placed orders are updated annually.
At the end of 2022, Lithuania and Estonia joined together to sign two agreements on joint purchases of ammunition and medical equipment (ROLE1 and ROLE2). As part of the procurement procedure, Lithuania will purchase medical equipment worth about 20 million euros and ammunition worth about 60 million euros.
Another project under negotiation is the joint acquisition of patrol boats with Latvia. Lithuania's preliminary share in the potential acquisition is about 20 million euros.
In 2023, the Agency for the Acquisition of Defense Products under the Ministry of Defense of Lithuania plans to organize, implement and coordinate purchases in the amount of 753 million euros. The most important projects to strengthen the combat capability of the Lithuanian Armed Forces this year are:
- medium-range air defense systems (2nd stage);
- MSHORAD short-range mobile air defense system (Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense);
- portable tactical and mobile electronic warfare systems;
- submachine guns.
According to the statement of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, in the next few years it is planned to spend more than 1 billion on the purchase of weapons in the USA and Germany. euro.
As reported by Lrt.lt, The USA and Germany are the main suppliers of weapons systems for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Over the past few years, about 500 million euros have been spent on the purchase of VIVT in the USA, and about 1 billion in Germany. euro.
As Lithuania increases defense spending, in the near future it is planned to start procurement procedures for a number of VIV and spend more than 1 billion by 2027 for these purposes. euro.
According to the Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anushauskas, during the implementation of the modernization program, the combat capabilities of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, as well as the country's defense capability, should be increased. At the same time, the presence of Allied forces in Lithuania will be expanded.
According to the ministry, the equipment purchased from "strategic partners" will modernize the Lithuanian Armed Forces, improving their maneuverability and firepower. It is planned to purchase air defense and airspace surveillance systems, anti-tank weapons, systems for military intelligence, logistics and military medical support.
Lithuania has already purchased Boxer infantry fighting vehicles (Vilkas) and PzH-2000 self-propelled howitzers from Germany. Two additional battalions of the Ground Forces will also be equipped with German armored platforms.
According to the Ministry's statement, Germany also remains a key partner in strengthening the rear potential of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. In particular, a project to purchase 10-ton trucks will be launched in the near future.
To strengthen the capabilities to combat armored vehicles, Switchblade complexes of barrage ammunition will be purchased in the United States, the launch range of which is up to 40 km. Additionally, the Javelin ATGM will be purchased, as well as new radars, high-terrain armored vehicles, UAVs, and four UH-60M multi-purpose helicopters.
Other partners in the Lithuanian Armed Forces modernization program are the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, France, Italy and other NATO and EU countries. Thus, the air defense system will be built on the basis of the NASAMS air defense system acquired in Norway.
Lithuania's military expenditures
Defense budget for 2022 f.g.
As stated in October 2021 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, the government of the country has developed a draft state budget for 2022, according to which it is planned to increase spending on national defense by 128 million euros (7.1%) to 1.176 billion. euro ($1.367 billion).
As Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT) reported on its website on October 11, Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste announced that defense spending will be increased from 2.03% of GDP in 2021 to 2.05% in 2022. She added that Lithuania's political parties support a gradual increase in defense spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.
According to the Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anushauskas, the increase in the budget will allow the implementation of the most important projects in the interests of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to continue. These include the purchase of a short-range air defense system; equipping units allocated to the operational subordination of NATO and the rapid reaction forces with infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in 2023; increasing mine warfare capabilities in 2024; providing the ability to inform about the maritime situation. In addition, Lithuania plans to purchase medium-range mobile radars in 2025 and complete the second phase of the purchase of infantry fighting vehicles and multi-purpose armored vehicles by 2031.
According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, the structure of the defense budget complies with NATO recommendations: no more than 50% of expenditures are directed to the maintenance of personnel and at least 20% to major acquisitions.
Discussion of amendments to the defense budget for 2022 f.g.
On March 16, 2022, a debate was held in the Lithuanian parliament on the issue of amendments to the state budget providing for an increase in the country's defense spending in 2022.
This is reported by Janes.com with reference to the statement of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense.
According to the Government, the decision will require additional funding in the amount of 298 million euros ($328.2 million). The proposal received broad support.
A representative of the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said Janes.com that the amount of 158.5 million euros will be spent on the purchase of military equipment, including unmanned aerial vehicles, multiple launch rocket systems, optical sights, thermal imagers, night vision devices, etc.
According to him, 66.8 million euros will be allocated for ammunition, the amount of 40.4 million euros will go to the construction of three military camps in Pabrad, Kazlu-Ore and Mariampol, 21.6 million euros will be allocated for bulletproof vests, communications equipment, medicines and other related equipment, another 10.7 million euros is provided for cybersecurity equipment.
Initially, Lithuania's approved allocations for defense in 2022 amounted to 1.176 billion rubles. euro ($1.367 billion), which corresponds to 2.05% of GDP.
The government's decision to increase the defense budget in 2022 f.g.
At the end of October 2022, the Lithuanian Government decided to allocate additional funds to the Ministry of Defense of the country in 2022 to finance the purchase of some new weapons.
According to Defense News, the Lithuanian leadership decided to increase the defense budget by about 148 million euros ($144.5 million) in 2022. With this in mind, in total, the government will allocate 2.52% of GDP to defense in 2022.
"In the context of the situation in Ukraine, we are increasing defense funding, consistently implementing the agreement reached by the parliamentary parties," Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste said in a press release.
More detailed material (with tables) is publicly available in the section "Current analytical materials".