Lithuania’s defense procurement agency has signed a contract with Sweden’s SAAB Dynamics for the purchase of Bolide and MK-2 type guided missiles for the RBS-70 short-range anti-aircraft defense system.
RBS-70 systems are used by the Lithuanian Air Defence Battalion, which picked RBS-70 for its uncomplicated operation, mobility, as well as because it is completely mechanical and electromagnetic interference-proof.
The system is capable of firing the MK-2 missile, which can intercept target at an altitude of up to 4 km and and a range of up to 7km respectively. These missiles are used by a number of other NATO allies.
The Bolide missiles are an advanced version of the MK-2, introducing an improved engine for enhanced speed and maneuvering. According to Saab, the Bolide has a range of more than 8 kilometers and an altitude coverage in excess of 5,000 meters.
Lithuania’s defense ministry said the contract is worth approximately 45 million euros (approx. US$44.4M).
The Lithuanian Armed Forces have been operating the RBS-70 since 2004. In 2018, the country invested close to $9 million the enhance the systems with BORC night-capability sights.
Defense minister Arvydas Anušauskas said the increase in defense spending would allow Lithuanian armed forces to step up their readiness.
The defense ministry added that it is investing in air defense based on lessons learned from the situation in Ukraine, which is fending off a Russian invasion and constantly demanding more aid in air defense systems.
In September this year, Lithuania also announced a program for the acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), expecting to set aside approximately 36 million euros (approx. $35.9B) for the undertaking.