On December 1 Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas had a visit to an AeroVironment factory in California where he viewed the production and discussed opportunities for further cooperation.
Lithuania signed a contract on procurement of the kamikaze drones from the United States Government in the end of last year. Head of AeroVironment Wahid Nawabi affirmed to Minister the equipment would be presented in 2024.
“We are the first nation worldwide to acquire the new combat drone Switchblade besides the United States. It will be a really significant redeploy able capability enhancement to our Armed Forces which will add an up to 40 km effective range against enemy equipment. We are watching its effect in Ukraine,” said A. Anušauskas.
The acquired Switchblade 600 loitering munition is next generation long-range combat drones with high precision optics, up to 40 minute flight time and an anti-armor warhead effective against heavy armored vehicles, including tanks. The kamikaze drone can trike to neutralize targets vertically.
Lithuania is also purchasing launching and control equipment, simulation system for personnel training and a maintenance package from the U.S.
The United States is one of Lithuania’s key partners in defence acquisitions and one of the key Allies for the security of the Baltic region. Lithuania has over 60 acquisition projects underway with the United States alone. Security assistance funds granted to Lithuania and the other Baltic states annually additionally facilitates Lithuania’s defence capability development.
Photo: courtesy of AeroVironment