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Germany enhances Lithuania’s defence with deployment of Ozelot short-range air defence system

Germany further strengthens capabilities of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group at Rukla: the Ozelot short-range self-propelled air defence of the German Armed Forces was deployed in Lithuania earlier last week. The system is armed with Stinger surface-to-air missiles.

According to Minister of national Defence Arvydas Anušauskas, the short-range air defence capabilities and additional military personnel are deployed to Lithuania as a response to the security environment changes. “It is vital to have full-spectrum capabilities here in Lithuania, including the critical element of air defence, so that deterrence and defence are effective. We have to make sure together with the Allies that NATO deterrence has the intended effect, and to be ready to defend effectively as well if that becomes necessary,” says Minister of National Defence A. Anušauskas.

Germany is the framework nation and the largest force contributor to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group deployed in Lithuania since 2017. The average strength of the NATO battalion was approx. 1,200 troops before the Russian aggression in Ukraine, however, Germany has deployed additional personnel and military equipment as a result of the changes in the security situation.

Another Ally that contributed force reinforcement is Norway. Aside from German and Norwegian military, the current composition of the NATO eFP BG is manned by the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Iceland.

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