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Formal ground-breaking ceremony marks the beginning of construction works of new radar post infrastructure

2015.11.27
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Video report (by Lukas Kalvaitis)

Infogrpaphic, jpg. (English)

 

“We mark a pivotal step in the modernisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. We begin a new phase in the overall air defence surveillance capability improvement programme for Lithuania. This and other essential major weapons systems acquisition and modernisation projects, brings the Lithuanian Armed Forces to a new qualitative level,” the Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas said about the start of construction works for the new infrastructure that will host a new NATO standard long-range 3D radar.

 

While underscoring the strategic value of the project for security and defence of Lithuania and the whole of the NATO Alliance, the Minister also pointed out its significance to provide advanced detection and tracking which will further enhance Lithuania’s Host Nation Support to the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states. “The new equipment will significantly boost Lithuanian and NATO situational awareness and allow us to provide a higher quality air picture for the fighter aircraft patrolling the Baltic skies” the Minister said.

 

On November 27, a ceremonial event marking the start of construction works for the new radar post infrastructure was held at the Lithuanian Air Forces First Radar Post located near Antaveršis village.

 

The ceremony was attended by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė. A declaration commemorating one of the most important phases of this long-term project to enhance the air defence surveillance system of Lithuania, was placed in a capsule and buried in the future buildings foundation.

 

During the ceremony, the declaration was signed by the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, the Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas, the Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas, the Commander of the Lithuanian Air Force Colonel Audronis Navickas, and representatives from the NATO Communication and Information Agency Guy Feat, and the NATO Support and Procurement Agency Manfred Eggers.

 

The ceremony was also attended by military personnel who are deployed to conduct the NATO Air Pollicising Mission in the Baltic States, Ambassadors of foreign countries, representatives from the local community and other invited dignitaries and guests.

 

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The Lithuanian Armed Forces will install the next-generation 3D long-range radars at three of its radar posts, 1st (Antaveršis village., Prienai district), 3rd (Degučiai village, Šilutė district) and 4th (Ceikiškės village, Ignalina district), to enhance and strengthen the air defence surveillance, and control of Lithuanian airspace. The new NATO standard radars will replace outdated Soviet era long-range radars that the Lithuanian Armed Forces currently operates.

 

When finished, the buildings will host the most advanced air defence surveillance system available today and have work space and administrative premises. Construction work will start with the 1st and the 3rd radar posts, with the 4th radar post being built last. The construction works of the radar posts in Antaveršis village (Prienai district) and Degučiai village (Šilutė district) are planned to be finished next year and to be fully operational by 2019.

 

 

All three next-generation long-range radars were procured through a contract signed between a NATO country manufacturer and the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) together with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) on behalf of the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania.

 

This is a long-term investment project which will boost the national air defence surveillance system with cutting-edge advanced technology, thus enhancing the entire NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System. This will be Lithuania’s largest contribution to both national and collective NATO defence capabilities, to date.

 

The new radar systems will significantly enhance both Lithuanian and NATO situational awareness by providing the ability to see more uncooperative targets, at much further distances which allow for the identification of threats faster ensuring Lithuania does its part as a host nation to the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission. The improved air picture will also assist the Lithuanian Air Force in search and rescue operations.

 

Credits: Giedrė Maksimovicz

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