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Lithuania to provide Ukraine with NASAMS launchers

by The Kyiv Independent news desk August 5, 2023 10:25 AM 2 min read
A NASAMS surface-to-air missile launcher is seen in production at the assembly line of the Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace weapons factory in Kongsberg, Norway on Jan. 30, 2023. (Petter Berntsen/AFP via Getty Images)
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Lithuanian Defense Ministry announced on Aug. 4 that they will transfer launchers for the NASAMS air defense systems to Ukraine "soon."

The ministry did not specify the number of launchers but said they would also provide Ukraine with counter-drones, some logistics equipment, and more.

According to the statement, for the first seven months of 2023, Lithuania has provided Ukraine with "Mi-8 helicopters, L-70 anti-aircraft aircraft with cartridges, M113 armored personnel carriers, millions of artillery pieces, and cartridges with grenades."

"In addition to the transfer of military equipment, Lithuania also actively trains Ukrainian soldiers, provides treatment and rehabilitation for Ukrainians, organizes expert consultations, and allocates funds to international foundations to support Ukraine," reads the statement.

The first transfer of launchers for the NASAMS systems from Lithuania was announced in late June. Back then, the country's president Gitanas Nauseda said Lithuania had acquired two launchers for Ukraine.

NASAMS systems have been in service in Ukraine since late last year after being delivered by the United States to defend Ukraine's airspace. The system has a maximum range of 50 kilometers depending on the model used, and is particularly valuable for Ukraine as it uses the AIM-120 AMRAAM interceptor missile, which is the same missile used in an air-to-air function in Western fighter jets.

This means that the missile is in large supply, giving Ukraine more of what it needs to continue defending its sky against Russian missiles and aircraft as the ammunition for its own Soviet-era air defense systems begins to run low.

On July 26, the U.S. announced a new military aid package for Ukraine totaling $400 million that also included additional munitions for Patriots air defense systems and NASAMS, as well as ammunitions for HIMARS, Stingers, Javelins, and other weapons.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 8 – How Ukrainian air defense denies Russia air superiority
“This Week in Ukraine” is a video podcast hosted by Kyiv Independent’s reporter Anastasiia Lapatina. Every week, Anastasiia sits down with her newsroom colleagues to discuss Ukraine’s most pressing issues. Episode #8 is dedicated to the work of Ukrainian air defense, and how it denies Russia the ai…
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