Lithuania eyes acquiring German IRIS-T air defense system: Minister

Lithuanian government is considering the acquisition of IRIS-T medium-range air defense system from Germany, according to a recent announcement from Lithuanian Defense Minister Laurynas Kasčiūnas as the country ramps up to strengthen defenses amid Russia-Ukraine war.

The related statements were made to the Lithuanian National Television website, “LRT,” and the development comes after a meeting held in Lithuania’s Palanga, where Kasčiūnas and his German counterpart Boris Pistorius convened.

During the meeting, Kasčiūnas emphasized the significant strategic value of this possible acquisition for Lithuania's national defense.

“I can say today a very important thing, from my point of view, that we are considering the acquisition of the IRIS-T medium-range air defense system from Germany,” he said.

The decision to pursue this system is driven by its demonstrated high efficiency, notably showcased in Ukraine. Diehl reports that Ukraine has successfully intercepted over 110 targets, primarily Russian Kalibr cruise missiles, achieving an almost 100% hit rate.

“A system, which has proven itself and is effective in Ukraine, could become part of our armed forces in a few years,” the Lithuanian minister added.

The German manufacturer Diehl is presently endeavoring to swiftly expand its industrial capacity in response to a substantial influx of orders from European nations.

The IRIS-T air defense system has attracted considerable attention from multiple nations. In September of the previous year, Estonia and Latvia collectively inked a deal to procure IRIS-T systems valued at approximately 1 billion euros.


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