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Lithuania plans to acquire from Germany Leopard tanks - Iris-T air defense systems and Marder IFVs.

According to the Lithuanian Minister of Defense, Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Lithuania is considering purchasing the Iris-T air defense system from Germany. As he explained yesterday during a press conference with his German counterpart Boris Pistorius in Palanga, the system has proven itself in Ukraine.
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IRIS- T air defense system (Picture source: X/ Team_Luftwaffe)

The Lithuanian minister emphasized that his country had already decided to buy 55 Leopard 2 main battle tanks, intended to equip a new tank battalion. According to Lithuanian media, the air defense system in question is the medium-range Iris-T SLM system. The two neighboring Baltic States, Estonia and Latvia, had already announced last year their joint purchase of Iris-T SLM from Diehl Defence.

As the German Minister of Defense highlighted, Lithuania has also expressed interest in acquiring the Skyranger anti-aircraft tank. The country's armed forces already have in their inventory the Boxer armored wheeled vehicle as an armored troop transport variant. The Boxer is intended in Germany as the carrier vehicle for the Skyranger, and the first unit is expected to be delivered to the Bundeswehr this year.

According to the German Minister of Defense, Lithuania would also like to acquire the Marder infantry fighting vehicle. However, it must first be checked how many tanks of this type the Bundeswehr can deliver. Pistorius emphasized that interoperability between the armed forces of the two countries will be of great importance when the German combat brigade is in Lithuania in 2027.

If Lithuania wants to equip itself with these capabilities, it is out of fear of Russia. Indeed, its geographical position is landlocked between Belarus and the Kaliningrad region, which belongs to Russia. Between these two states, a small corridor about sixty kilometers wide constitutes the only land link between the Baltic countries and NATO. Called the Suwalki Corridor, it is a point of very high tension where the Russian, Belarusian, and NATO armies are present.

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