Netherlands to Deploy Patriot System for Exercise in Lithuania, Bordering Russia

Lithuania shares an approximately 260 km border with Russia
  • bureau
  • 05:56 AM, March 30, 2024
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Netherlands to Deploy Patriot System for Exercise in Lithuania, Bordering Russia
Patriot air defense system @Dutch MoD

The Netherlands has decided to send the Patriot long-range air defense system to Lithuania, which shares an approximately 260 km border with Russia, for an exercise lasting several weeks.

The Dutch unit will train alongside Lithuanian Armed Forces units.

"The deployment of the Dutch Patriot system in our country is excellent news. Exercises of this nature support the implementation of the Rotational NATO Air Defense Model, which was approved at the NATO Summit in Vilnius. We are thankful to the Netherlands for consistently contributing to Baltic, and especially Lithuania’s security. The deployment of Dutch servicemembers to the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group Lithuania, Baltic Air Policing Mission, NATO Force Integration Unit is vital for the security of the Baltic states. This step also enhances our cooperation on air defense," said Minister of National Defense Laurynas Kasčiūnas.

Minister Kajsa Ollongren said that the deployment of a Dutch unit to an exercise in Lithuania will contribute to NATO air defense readiness. "It is an important signal to our eastern Allies: you can rely on the Netherlands, including regarding air defense," she said.

The exercise will take place this summer to train for the no-notice redeployment of air defense units and systems and to smoothly integrate them for air defense tasks.

NATO made the decision on the Rotational Air Defense Model at the Vilnius Summit last year in order to strengthen the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defense System. The model enables the rehearsal of a smooth and quick transition to air defense tasks during peacetime training and aims to strengthen deterrence and defense in the air domain. The Rotational Air Defense Model will coexist with the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states.

Lithuania actively advocates for as frequent as possible deployments and exercises of Allied aircraft and ground-based air defense systems to Lithuania within the Rotational Air Defense model framework.