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Lithuania Modernizes Its Defense in Russia’s Rising Military Power

As Russia developed its army power in Kaliningrad and its Western Army District and gains influence with its neighbor Belarus,…

By Brooks Schroth , in Defense News , at July 18, 2019 4:57 AM EDT Tags: , ,

As Russia developed its army power in Kaliningrad and its Western Army District and gains influence with its neighbor Belarus, Lithuania continues to make a great deal in the modernization of its protective abilities with plans to extend defense spending in upcoming years.

Spurred by Russia’s occupation of Crimea, Lithuania embarked on a bold modernization program for its army in 2014. By 2017, the nation had doubled its defense funding to over $800 million, which put it in the top 10 list of defense funders among NATO members, measured as a percentage of GDP. In 2016, for instance, the nation’s investments summed to one of the largest increases within the Alliance.

And while Lithuania reached the NATO-member commitment to investing 2% of its GDP on defense in 2018, it won’t halt there, with targets to spend 2.5% by 2030.

The nation further posted updates in 2018 in its acquisition procedure by standing up a brand new centralized system and defense resource company in command of procuring armaments and managing defense tasks with a goal of transparency.

As the total defense budget continues to increase, Lithuania is planning to invest 25% of it on modernization — a sum of €2.5 billion — to add the acquisition of weapons, equipment and the stockpiling of ammunition by 2022.

Lithuania has embarked on quite a lot of big modernization tasks.

The current scope of the IFV mission is to field two mechanized army battalions’ worth of the autos; however, the nation’s ambition is to field IFVs to all the brigade.

The Boxers are intended to exchange the armed force’s M113 shielded personnel carriers.