Lithuania has awarded a 45-million-euro ($44.3 million) contract to Swedish defense firm Saab to produce and deliver guided missiles for its RBS-70 short-range anti-aircraft defense system.
The acquisition is part of the country’s push to increase defense spending amid growing regional threats.
According to defense minister Arvydas Anušauskas, the Bolide and MK2 guided missiles would help the Lithuanian military ensure more effective air defense execution, enhancing the European nation’s readiness should Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spread to other countries.
“Lithuania learns from Ukraine’s lessons and focuses on investing in air defense: acquires air defense systems, strengthens airspace surveillance and control, and strengthens the Host Nation Support to ensure the ability to receive allies quickly and efficiently,” the Ministry of National Defence stated.
The MK-2 guided missiles can hit targets up to seven kilometers away, while the Bolide boasts an improved engine for increased speed, altitude, and distance.
The RBS-70 Air Defense System
Saab’s RBS-70 is a short-range anti-aircraft system that can be operated independently in stand-alone mode and linked with a surveillance radar.
It uses a laser beam detector to guide the missile toward its target.
The weapon’s laser beam riding system mounted on the missile’s tail can also defeat sophisticated jamming devices.
Lithuania’s defense ministry chose the RBS-70 as its short-range air defense system because of its easy maintenance, increased mobility, and resistance to electromagnetic disturbance.
The system is currently in service with the Air Defense Battalion of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.