Lithuania to strengthen air defense capabilities: president

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VILNIUS, July 28 (Xinhua) — Lithuania seeks to further strengthen its air defense capabilities and pays priority attention to this, President Gitanas Nauseda said Tuesday while visiting the Lithuanian Air Force’s (LAF) base in Siauliai, Lithuania.

Nauseda met with soldiers of the Spanish Air Force, British Royal Air Force and German Air Force detachments conducting the current rotation of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Air Policing mission in the Baltic states, as well as soldiers from Lithuania and the U.S.

“Rotating contingents of soldiers from various countries … demonstrate the inexhaustible commitment of the Allies to the protection of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian airspace,” Nauseda was quoted as saying in a statement released by his office.

To strengthen its air defense capabilities, Lithuania is in the process of purchasing and deploying the ground-based medium-range NASAMS air defense system by 2021. The system will be tested later this year.

NATO’ Baltic Air Policing mission was launched in 2004 when Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia joined the military alliance. Enditem

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