The Lithuanian Armed Power has taken a choice to start out negotiations on the procurement of latest helicopters to interchange Soviet-made Mi-8.
The brand new utility helicopters are deliberate for use for search and rescue operations and for the duties of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the NATO enhanced Ahead Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania, in accordance with a service information launch.
“At present the Lithuanian Armed Forces continues to make use of for its duties three operational Soviet-made Mi-Eight whose airworthiness deadline may be very close to, and three AS365 N3+ Dauphin helicopters which can be primarily used for search and rescue operations and environmental safety surveillance within the territory of Lithuania. We’ve to vary the remnant Mi-Eight Soviet platform to a western expertise for army duties,” Minister of Nationwide Defence Raimundas Karoblis says. He additionally underscores that the necessity of extra fashionable western helicopters arose as a result of the working lifetime of the Mi-Eight will quickly be over, their upkeep is pricey, continuously required, and a high-risk subject due to the sophisticated provide of spare components from the Russian Federation.
A market evaluation that was finished in accordance with the standards formulated by the Lithuanian Armed Forces has revealed that the UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopter supplied by america of America meets the calls for in essentially the most optimum approach. Due to this fact, it has been agreed that negotiations with the U.S. Authorities on procurement of six UH-60 Black Hawks will probably be opened within the nearest whereas. The negotiations with U.S. Authorities regarding the helicopter procurement will start within the nearest future, whereas the Letter of Provide and Acceptance is predicted to be signed by the top of 2020. It’s estimated that the primary of the brand new UH-60M army utility helicopters will probably be delivered to the Lithuanian Armed Forces by the top of 2024.
The worth of the UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopter procurement is roughly EUR 300 million. The U.S. Authorities is at the moment exploring choices to probably present U.S. safety help funds to this essential procurement. “Direct acquisition of the aptitude from the U.S. authorities will provide Lithuania not solely with a utility helicopter but additionally with a package deal of coaching, spare components and vital tools. There’s additionally a excessive likelihood that it’s going to deliver us further monetary help via the totally different U.S. safety help funds,” R.Karoblis says.
The Lithuanian determination to progress to the western army helicopter platform is supported by the management of the Pennsylvania Military Nationwide Guard. Adjutant Common of Pennsylvania Maj Gen Anthony J. Carrelli says in a letter to the Minister of Nationwide Defence of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis that the Pennsylvania Military Nationwide Guard, sure by 26 years of shut partnership with the Lithuanian Armed Forces, is ready to render experience , share expertise, and contribute to coaching for crews, pilots and maintainers of the potential acquisition. “Our long-standing and intense cooperation with the Pennsylvania Military Nationwide Guard and its future help will foster a greater interoperability with the U.S. forces in workouts and worldwide operations,” Vice Minister of Nationwide Defence G. Jeglinskas says.
The USA is Lithuania’s strategic associate and key ally for the safety of the Baltic area. The 2 international locations cooperate throughout a variety of areas, together with acquisitions. One other comparable undertaking underway and being agreed is the procurement of 200 JLTV armoured all-terrain automobiles from the U.S. Authorities for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The USA, in its flip, made in depth investments to Lithuania’s army coaching areas and different infrastructure, coaching of Lithuania’s army personnel, and different areas, as a part of its safety help applications in Lithuania. To be able to guarantee sustainability of the cooperation actions and correct funding of long-term initiatives Lithuania and the U.S. have signed a cooperation plan at first of this yr.