The US military has stationed Patriot anti-aircraft missiles in Lithuania for military exercises for the first time.
The weapons system was stationed in the small Baltic nation and NATO member for the Tobruq Legacy 2017 air defence military exercises, which will run July 11-22.
Patriot missiles repel aircraft and rocket attacks, the Defence Ministry in Vilnius announced Monday.
"The deployment demonstrates the steadfast US commitment to the security of Lithuania and its high readiness to send strategic capabilities to the region," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Lithuania, a former Soviet republic that today borders the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, had asked for assistance on air defence in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and increasing concerns over its own security.
Lithuania's Armed Forces currently only have short-range aircraft defense systems but the decision has been made to purchase Norwegian medium-range systems NASAMS.
The three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have expressed concern about their air defense weakness in the face of Russian air superiority. The baltic states possess only short-range anti-aircraft missiles, leaving the skies largely unprotected.
Poland, a member of the NATO military alliance, announced last week that Washington had agreed to sell it eight Patriot missile systems, a deal worth up to $7.6 billion. The Patriot is a surface-to-air missile system manufactured by the US defense contractor Raytheon.
The US has agreed to sell Patriot missile defense systems to Poland in a memorandum signed on Wednesday. "A memorandum was signed Wednesday night" Poland's Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said
Lockheed Martin has won a more than $39-million contract to provide seven foreign governments with Patriot missile defense system enhanced launcher electronics, engineering support and maintenance. The Defense Department explained that the contract is for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 [PAC-3] Missile Support for recapitalization of the enhanced launcher electronic system, field missile activities and unscheduled maintenance, the company announced Monday
Japan has started training its troops Thursday to use Patriot air-and-missile defense systems against a threat from North Korea. "The one-hour exercise took place at the Komaki base in the Aichi prefecture
Lockheed Martin won a foreign military sales contract modification to install phased array tracking radar on Qatar's Patriot ballistic missile defense batteries and other upgrades. "Lockheed Martin Corp
Lithuania has received the first two out of 88 Boxer 8×8 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV), also known as “Vilkas.” The country placed an order for four configurations of the IFV: command post, squad, platoon, and company commander from the German-Dutch manufacturer Artec in August 2016
The Lithuanian Armed Forces recently signed a contract with Israeli company ELTA Systems Ltd for five gap-filler short-range air surveillance radars and logistic maintenance services. Two of the radars are bought to compensate for the negatives impact wind farms developed in Šilutė and Tauragė districts have on the ability of the Lithuanian Armed Forces air surveillance radars to detect and track air targets, the armed forces said in a press release Thursday
US Vice President Mike Pence has raised the possibility of deploying Patriot anti-missile defense system in Estonia. "We spoke about it today, but we didn't talk about a date or time," Estonias Prime Minister Juri Ratas said after Pence began a visit to the small Baltic nation on the border with Russia
Japans Air Self-Defense Force will deploy a Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air guided missile unit for a joint training exercise with US troops next month at the hub of the two allies' Yokota Air Base. The exercise, which could be held as early as August, is to test the two forces capabilities against increasing military provocations by North Korea in the form of ballistic missile launches, local media reports
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