The Lithuanian Air Force is set to procure additional National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) ground-based mid-range air defence system combat and inert missiles from Norway.

Last month, the Lithuanian Air Force commander colonel Dainius Guzas signed a technical agreement with the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence Materiel Agency Acquisition Management Department head Eivind Fagge for the procurement of further NASAMS missiles.

The new agreement comes after a contract was signed with NASAMS manufacturer Kongsberg in October 2017 to purchase the missiles.

Guzas said: “This additional agreement takes us a step closer to the NASAMS mid-range air defence systems in the Lithuanian Armed Forces. It is one of the most strategically important acquisitions that strengthen airspace defence and an effective deterrent that will allow no aggressor to feel safe in our airspace.”

Lithuania will receive systems that are armed with US-made advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) that can destroy aircraft and missiles located at a distance of several tens of kilometres.

“Once the NASAMS systems are procured, they will be delivered to the Air Defence Battalion of the Lithuanian Air Force.”

The launchers in the systems being procured are currently being upgraded.

Defence Materiel Agency chief advisor colonel Valdas Šiaučiulis said: “Air defence is one of the most important elements of national defence and it has been receiving substantial attention in Lithuania recently, therefore the Defence Materiel Agency agreed on the acquisition of additional missiles with the Norwegian Ministry of Defence on particularly favourable conditions.”

The agreement also involves training Lithuanian Air Force personnel to control and maintain the air defence system.

The procurement of the equipment, training and integration of all components is expected to be completed by 2021.

Once the NASAMS systems are procured, they will be delivered to the Air Defence Battalion of the Lithuanian Air Force.

The preliminary value of the contract that covers equipment for two air defence batteries, logistical support, as well as training for operators and service personnel is estimated to be around €110m.