Armed Forces

Lithuania Enhances Its Anti-Tank Defence Capabilities

  • Formacja laserów do wywarcia ciśnienia na świetlny żagiel mogłaby powstać na pustyni w Chile. Ilustracja:
    Formacja laserów do wywarcia ciśnienia na świetlny żagiel mogłaby powstać na pustyni w Chile. Ilustracja:

The US Department of State expressed its consent to sell the Javelin ATGM systems to Lithuania. Procurement of even 74 launchers is being negotiated. The new armament is to expand the Lithuanian anti-tank capabilities.

The information released by the US Department of State suggests that the organ has granted a consent, regarding potential sales of the Javelin ATGM system (missiles and launchers) for Lithuania. The procedures are going to be a part of the Foreign Military Sales programme, thus the consent granted by the US Congress is additionally required. USD 55 million is the maximum amount related to the sales.

Lithuania has requested the US government to sell another lot of the Javelin missiles and launchers for Vilnius. Within the scope of the transaction, the Lithuanians would receive 210 new missiles, 10 missiles for the test purposes and 74 examples of the Javelin system launchers. The contract would also cover technical support, transport and logistics, plus general assistance for the programme.

According to the US Department of State, informing the Congress about potential sales, the transaction would be compliant with the US policy, and it would have a beneficial impact on the US security, and security of Lithuania. The bilateral cooperation of both countries will also be improved. Moreover, the interoperability of the armed forces of the United States and Lithuania is also going to be enhanced. The Department of State notes that this transaction would also be viewed positively by the neighbouring countries, since it is going to have an indirect impact on their security.

The release notes that the weaponry which is covered by the agreement has a defensive character, and that the systems should be, without any problems, introduced into service, since, at the moment, the Lithuanians are already using at least 40 Javelin ATGM launchers. According to the Department, finalization of the contract will not have any impact on the balance of power in the region. 

The Armament covered by the agreement is going to be manufactured at Raytheon/Lockheed Martin plants in Orlando and Tucson.

Javelin missiles are capable of neutralizing armoured targets, also from the top side, making it possible to use the missiles against the contemporary main battle tanks. The missile is operated according to the “fire and forget principle”, and they are guided with a thermal vision guidance systems, thus being usable both at night, as well as during the day.  Estonia also concluded an agreement, pertaining procurement of the Javelin missiles just recently. 

The acquisition of 74 launchers would significantly improve the Lithuanian anti-tank capabilities, especially in the light of the fact that Vilnius is also in process of acquirring the Boxer APCs, armed with the Spike ATGM. On the other hand, noticeably the quantity of missiles is small, in relation to the number of launchers (three missiles per launcher). The request related to acquisition of the Javelins is a part of the Vilnius initiatives, the purpose of which is to expand the defensive capabilities and increase the defence budget.