The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence has announced the commencement of a procurement process to buy 26 ‘mini’ and nine ‘small’ variants of uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs).

According to a market analysis, the acquisition of the UAV systems is expected to cost nearly €36m.  

Serving the purpose of reconnaissance, the UAVs need to meet the requirements of either ‘mini’ or ‘small’ type systems. This means the UAV must weigh below 150kg (Class I).

The latest deal includes the procurement of ‘mini’ and ‘small’ UAVs weighing over 20kg each.

While the ‘mini’ variant offers a range of up to 25km and an altitude exceeding 1,000m, the ‘small’ type has a range of over 50km and an altitude of 1,500m.  

These aerial vehicles will help personnel to track targets, evaluate the impact of actions, monitor artillery fire, and enable artillery fire adjustment and correction.

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Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas said: “Acquisition of these systems will significantly improve the Lithuanian military intelligence capabilities.

“The Lithuanian Armed Forces currently doesn’t have any tactical uncrewed aircraft suitable for reconnaissance.”

The process to acquire Switchblade UAVs from the US to strengthen the Lithuanian Armed Forces is also in progress.

In a statement, the ministry said: “The Ministry of National Defence and the Lithuanian Armed Forces attaches great importance to the acquisition and integration of new reconnaissance and warfare instruments aiming to improve combat capabilities of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.”

Earlier this year, Lithuania announced plans to support Ukraine in the form of M113 and M577 armoured personnel carriers and ammunition.

The government also proposed to hold extensive training for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.