Lithuania is set to buy eight HIMARS rocket systems from the United States for $495 million (euros), officials said on Thursday.
The Baltic state, which neighbors Russia and Kremlin ally Belarus, has increased defense spending since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said the systems to be delivered in 2025 and 2026 will provide “a completely new and powerful capability that Lithuania has never had.”
“The proposed sale will contribute to Lithuania’s military goals of updating its capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.
The HIMARS systems delivered to Ukraine are widely seen as one of the most effective tools in its arsenal as the pro-Western country fights back against Russian troops.
Lithuania, an EU and NATO member, spends more than 1.6 billion euros or 2.52 percent of GDP on defense and will be hosting a NATO summit in July next year.
The nation of 2.8 million will also buy some long-range ATACMS missiles, which can strike targets at a distance of 300 kilometers (186 miles), and rockets of shorter range.
Lithuania’s Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia are also planning to buy HIMARS systems.
Lithuania’s defense ministry said this “will strengthen the security not only of Lithuania, but also of the entire region.”