Lithuania and the United States have signed a bilateral Security of Supply Arrangement (SOSA) on defence goods and services committing to support each other in the area of critical defence supplies. The SOSA was signed on October 27 during Defence Vice Minister Greta Monika Tučkutė’s official visit to Washington.
“The United States is one the principle Allies to Lithuania in acquisitions. This arrangement will allow Lithuania to stay among the U.S. Government’s priorities in making weaponry and equipment sales decisions. It has become particularly relevant as weaponry and equipment demand is on the surge worldwide due to the war in Ukraine, aggressive China’s behavior and the recent developments in Israel, while supply has not yet caught up with it. Lithuania needs one more insurance that critical and urgent defence needs will be taken care of quickly and effectively if there is a need,” noted Vice Minister of National Defence G. M. Tučkutė.
Vice Minister received firm assurances at the meetings with the Pentagon’s Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Dr. William LaPlante and Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) James Hursch that the United States had a clear understanding of Lithuania’s security situation and thus did everything possible to make sure the procurement projects were implemented in a speedy manner and acquired weaponry and equipment was delivered to Lithuania on schedule.
“If we intent to have a defence industry that meets the increased demand on time, we need to present a long-term requirement, multi-year contracts. We, the United States, are getting that done. My view is that NATO should progress to multinational, multiannual orders to the maximum as well. What I see in the U.S. and European defence industry makes me feel optimistic, there are critical ammunition categories it will deliver the necessary supply for in just a few years,” said Dr. W. LaPlante.
G. M. Tučkutė also shared Lithuania’s experience in the effort to facilitate a breakthrough in defence industry and encourage engagement of the Lithuanian defence industry in U.S. market. One more topic discussed was the necessity to continue supporting Ukraine through innovative defence industry solutions and to learn from its lessons.
Lithuania has over 60 projects underway with the United States alone. U.S. security assistance funds annually contribute to a quicker development of the Lithuanian and other Baltic states’ defence capabilities.
Lithuania and the United States has agreed to sign a contract on AMRAAM missile acquisition by the end of the year. A contract for purchasing the HIMARS system has also been signed earlier, it was also preceded by contracts for buying 500 JLTV Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, 4 Black Hawk helicopters, and Switchblade drones. Lithuania has also been a U.S. client in buying the Javelin anti-tank missile systems and various communications equipment for many years.