The US has deployed the Patriot long-range missile system in Lithuania for the first time ahead of Tobruq Legacy 2017, a multinational ground-based air defence units exercise.
The deployment demonstrates the US's commitment to the security of Lithuania and its high readiness to send strategic capabilities to the region, the Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania stated.
Patriot will be deployed alongside air defence systems used by other Nato allies during Tobruq Legacy 2017.
The long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defence system has been designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.
Tobruq Legacy aims to enhance interoperability among Nato ground-based air defence units, as well as improve airspace command and control procedures.
The exercise will witness participation from close to 500 soldiers and 30 air defence systems from Lithuania, the UK, the US, Latvia, and Poland.
Tobruq Legacy 2017 will be conducted concurrently in Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Romania between 11 and 22 July, under the command of Romania-based Joint Force Air Component Command (Nato JFAC).
The Nato JFAC will comprise members from the Lithuanian Air Force.
Lithuanian units will also receive training in night-time air defence operations in the Czech Republic's portion of the exercise.
National Exercise Vigilant Falcon 2017 in Lithuania will be an integral part of Tobruq Legacy 2017, according to the statement.
Image: The Patriot will be used along with Lithuanian and other Nato allies’ air defence systems during Tobruq Legacy 2017. Photo: courtesy of the Lithuanian Air Force / Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania.