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12 novembre 2015 4 12 /11 /novembre /2015 16:50
Exercise Arrcade Fusion. photo UK MoD.jpg

Exercise Arrcade Fusion. photo UK MoD.jpg


10 November 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP


UK Armed Forces are leading a NATO Land training exercise in the Baltic states, underlining continued support to the region.

Exercise Arrcade Fusion, which takes place in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, will be led by the Army, accompanied by a small number of supporting personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Around 1,400 troops from 18 NATO nations will take part in the exercise, which began over the weekend, and runs through November. The UK is committing 800 troops and around 350 Army logistics vehicles.

The UK led exercise will put the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) – the land element of NATO’s new Rapid Reaction Force – to the test. The exercise will help prepare the new force before it becomes operational in 2016.

It will also demonstrate NATO’s capacity to operate in complex environments across the conventional, unconventional and hybrid spectrum of warfare.

Arrcade Fusion reinforces the UK’s continued commitment to the Baltic States. Next year RAF jets will take part in the Baltic Air Policing mission for the 3rd consecutive year while last month, the Defence Secretary announced that the UK will deploy a persistent presence to the Baltic states to provide reassurance and build the capability of their armed forces of the region.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

This exercise underlines our commitment to the sovereignty of the democratic nations of Eastern Europe.

It builds on our decision to deploy RAF jets and company sized units to the Baltic region.

It will also provide crucial training to ensure the effectiveness of the new Rapid Reaction Force when it launches next year.

Lieutenant General Tim Evans, commander Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, said:

The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps has deployed to the Baltic States on Exercise Arrcade Fusion to improve and refine the way we operate alongside our allies in the region.

The exercise will also assure the public and the governments of the Baltic states that NATO stands ready to support its members when required.

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5 novembre 2015 4 05 /11 /novembre /2015 17:50
M 1126 Stryker ICV with 30mm cannon and M2 Machine Guns for Lithuania


Nov 5, 2015 ASDNews Source : Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)


The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Lithuania for Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $599 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on November 4, 2015.

The Government of Lithuania has requested a sale of eighty-four (84) M 1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) with the ATK 30mm cannon, the XM813 30mm cannon or a European variant with the Remote Weapon Station and eighty-four (84) M2 Flex Machine Guns. Additionally, they have requested the ICV-30 package, including contractor logistics support, support equipment, spare parts, armaments, two (2) AN/PRC-152 Radios per vehicle, one (l) AN/PSN-13 DAGR per vehicle, one (l) VIC-3 per vehicle, training aids/devices/simulators & simulations (TADSS), translated technical manuals with laptop computers, training, Foreign Service Representatives (FSRs), OCONUS Contractor vehicle deprocessing services and technical assistance. The total estimated value of MDE is $462 million. The overall total estimated value is $599 million.

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26 octobre 2015 1 26 /10 /octobre /2015 17:50
NSPA to support update of Lithuania’s howitzer procurement from Germany


26 October 2015 by Nato


Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has agreed to provide its complete support to update the PzH2000 self-propelled 155mm howitzers being procured by Lithuania from Germany.


The update support was announced by head of the department of weaponry and control systems Artur Plokšto at a session of the Land Combat Vehicles (LCV) Support Partnership of the NSPA, held in Luxembourg. At the session, Lithuania joined the howitzer user project after an unanimous agreement was reached between participating countries Croatia, Italy, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands. Representing Lithuania at the session, Plokšto said the howitzers would be updated, C2 systems installed and full operational capability reached on time. For the PzH2000 project, NSPA support will include supply, procurement, maintenance, technical/engineering services, technical training, configuration management, transportation, in-country training and on-site support, among others.

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1 octobre 2015 4 01 /10 /octobre /2015 07:50
PzH 2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000) 155mm self-propelled howitzer

PzH 2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000) 155mm self-propelled howitzer


Sep 29, 2015 by Richard Tomkins(UPI)


Lithuania on Tuesday signed an agreement to procure 21 PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers from the German Armed Forces.


The deal for the 155mm guns, as well as vehicles and other equipment, is worth nearly $65 million.


The Lithuanian Ministry of Defense said 16 of the guns will be usable for combat purposes, two will be used for training firing and driving skills, and three for spare parts.


"The changed geopolitical situation and lessons learned from the conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine have made the Lithuanian Armed Forces prioritize an efficient fire support to maneuver units on the course of its development," said Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas. "Looking for solution, we turned to Germany, our ally, and its understanding and good will has helped us come up with a compromise on the procurement on one of the most modern self-propelled howitzers in the world within a particularly short time.


"That is a clear demonstration that Germany understands the reasons behind our security concerns and is sending a clear signal that it stands firmly by Lithuania."


The other equipment being purchased from Germany includes 26 M577 V2 armored command vehicles and six BPZ2 recovery tanks.


Also included in the deal is training for Lithuanian troops who will use the self-propelled howitzers, which will begin to arrive in Lithuania next year.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:50
G36 A2 mit RSA-S Visier, LLM01 und Sturmgriff (Quelle Heer-Alexander Schöffner)

G36 A2 mit RSA-S Visier, LLM01 und Sturmgriff (Quelle Heer-Alexander Schöffner)


September 18, 2015: Strategy Page


In mid-2015 Lithuania temporarily suspended purchases of German G36 assault rifles because a recent German Army study concluded that the G36 was unreliable during sustained combat, especially in hot weather.  Lithuania has been using the G36 since 2005 and their current G36 contract is worth about $14 million. Lithuanian soldiers had been satisfied with G36s. That was largely because the heat problems were never noticed because the troops typically used the G36 for training (typical single or short burst fire) and often in cold European weather.


In early 2015 the German Amy issued a report that admitted, after years of user complaints and several rounds of testing, that there were major accuracy and reliability problems with its G36 assault rifle. The G36 is a 3.3 kg (7.3 pound), 999mm (39 inch) long (758mm with stock folded) 5.56mm assault rifle. Effective range is 800 meters and it can use a 30 or 100 round magazine and was designed to be an improvement on the M16 design from the 1960s. On paper the G36 was a success but in combat it was not. This was particularly true in Afghanistan. While the G36 entered service in 1995 it didn’t get exposed to heavy combat use until 2008 and that’s when the complaints from the troops began.


The main problem was that the G36 suffers accuracy and reliability problems when the barrel gets very hot. This tends to happen when the rifle fires a lot of rounds in a short period and is worse in areas where the outdoor temperatures are very hot to begin with. This was a common situation in Afghanistan. In 2014 despite formal investigations and test results that backed up the complaints of the troops the German government ordered one last round of tests and a temporary halt in purchases of G36s. The results of those tests confirmed earlier results and the G36 was said to have no future in the German military. That admits the problem but does not solve it.


Although German troops went to Afghanistan in 2002, they were deliberately kept away from combat for several years. But by 2008 German troops were regularly fighting the Taliban and experiencing extended firefights during the warm weather. At that point the troops encountered the previously unknown G36 flaws. There were incidents where hours of combat caused several very obvious problems. One of the more obvious culprits was the polymer (plastic) parts of the rifle getting a bit soft when the metal parts got very hot due to heavy use in a short period of time. The barrel and receiver could move a tiny bit under those conditions and that threw off accuracy to a small degree that became especially noticeable only at longer (over 200 meters) ranges. It was later discovered that the manufacturer had not been using the right type of plastic for the rifle and the cheaper substitute was more prone to failure in high-heat conditions.


By 2012 it was also discovered that there were no practical (workable and affordable) solutions. At first the German government insisted the problem had to do with bad ammunition. The ammo manufacturers denied that and were able to make a convincing case. Meanwhile the complaints from the troops, confirmed by many witnesses and cell phone photos, of the heat related problems and total failure of the rifle in some cases kept showing up in the media. German politicians and procurement officials initially responded by trying to make all this go away. The government officials did not want to admit they made a major mistake in putting the G36 into service. They also don’t want the major expense of replacing the G36 with a better design.


The G36 was initially very popular as the standard German infantry assault rifle. By 1997 in was widely used and troops appreciated the fact that it used a short-stroke piston system. The M16s uses gas-tube system, which results in carbon being blown back into the chamber. That leads to carbon build up, which results in jams (rounds getting stuck in the chamber, and the weapon unable to fire.). The short-stroke system also does not expose parts of the rifle to extremely hot gases (which wears out components more quickly). As a result, rifles using the short-stroke system, rather than the gas-tube, are more reliable, easier to maintain and last longer. That was the good news. The bad news stayed hidden for a decade.


The G-36 assault rifle had been created in the early 1990s as the successor to the outdated G3 rifle which was incompatible with the current NATO standards. The new 5.56mm assault rifle has been adopted by the Bundeswehr in the 1995 and achieved some export success. The rifle is made mostly from reinforced composites. Thanks to this it is very light.  The lightest version weighs only 2.8 kilograms and the heaviest variant is only 3.6 kilograms.

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16 septembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septembre /2015 07:50
Marines: Preparing For A Baltic War


September 15, 2015: Strategy page


Fear of Russia is creating a new military alliance in northern Europe. Since 2014 Sweden and Finland, while not NATO members, have been training with other Baltic states (Denmark, Norway, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) that are. This year Sweden and Finland participated (along with 15 other nations) in the BALTOPS naval exercise. The 5,600 troops involved were mainly concerned with confirming that everyone’s equipment, procedures and communications worked as needed for joint naval and amphibious operations.


One of the things the 2015 BALTOPS was concerned with was defending Gotland; a key Swedish island between Sweden and Latvia. Whoever controls Gotland dominates the eastern Baltic and access to most of the Swedish coastline. BALTOPS planners also examined retaking Gotland if Russia were to seize it, which Sweden sees as an increasing possibility. Sweden now plans to increase the Gotland garrison and build more fortifications.


BALTOPS also worked on amphibious operations in the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia), which are now NATO members and threatened by Russia. Sweden and Finland have long been allies and are increasing their military cooperation and coordination.

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20 juillet 2015 1 20 /07 /juillet /2015 17:50
La Lituanie et la Lettonie coopèrent en matière de défense militaire


17 Juillet 2015 Arthur Vernassière - lejournalinternational.fr


Les deux pays baltes ont annoncé cette semaine qu’ils se sont engagés pour une coopération militaire. Les présidents des deux pays se sont retrouvés à Vilnius pour décider de renforcer leurs armements et leur défense. L’accord prévoit notamment d’accroître les capacités aériennes des deux pays de la mer baltique. La Lituanie et la Lettonie ont également invité la Pologne et l’Estonie à les rejoindre dans cette collaboration.

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10 juin 2015 3 10 /06 /juin /2015 16:40
RAF Typhoon of 6 Squadron from 121 Expeditionary Air Wing deployed in Estonia intercepts Russian Il-20 Coot A electronic surveillance aircraft - photo RAF.jpg

RAF Typhoon of 6 Squadron from 121 Expeditionary Air Wing deployed in Estonia intercepts Russian Il-20 Coot A electronic surveillance aircraft - photo RAF.jpg

10 June 2015 by Royal Air Force

RAF Typhoons made a “two-in-one” interception, launching to find and identify Russian aircraft in two different places over the Baltic Sea as part of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.


A pair of Typhoons were scrambled this morning from Ämari Air base in Estonia to intercept an unknown aircraft tracking the Baltic airspace without having filed a flight plan. Having identified it as an Il-20M Coot A surveillance aircraft, they were then re-tasked whilst still airborne to check out another aircraft. It was seen to be an An-26 Curl transport aircraft going north from Kaliningrad.

These two intercepts resulted from close teamwork between the Estonian Air Force and the RAF Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS) detachment at Ämari. ASACS detachment commander, Flight Lieutenant Paul “Griff” Griffin explained: “The Estonian controllers will have seen it on their radar picture. They evaluate speed, heading, height and whether it has a flight plan. They give it an appropriate ID coloured according to their assessment of its intent. We saw this one show up in a sea of green.”

He continued: “My job as the 121 EAW representative is to provide input to NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem in Germany. It’s almost like a bidding process. Every unit identifies what they can do. In this case the Typhoons were given a ‘Yes’ and one of the Estonians hit the ‘Scramble’ button. As our aircraft get in the air, it’s my job to vector them on. Steering them left, right, faster, slower to get them behind the unknown aircraft.”

Sgt Chris Ashcroft, in the ASACS detachment takes-up the story: “My part is to generate the air picture – so it can be seen in the cockpit to increase the situational awareness of the Typhoon pilots. It takes a bit of training to ensure they have the right footprint visible”.

Interception of two aircraft on the same sortie demonstrates the flexible capability of the RAF Typhoons in policing Baltic airspace and making it safer for civilian air traffic. Detachment Commander, Wing Commander Stu Smiley said: “As we enter our second month of policing the Baltic airspace, this is the fourth intercept tasking we have had. It’s much as expected. Today’s double intercept easily demonstrates the capability we bring to the mission”.

Flt Lt Griffin simply summed it up: “ It’s a bit like waiting for a bus. You wait so long and then two turn up at once. But we are trained to do that.”

An-26 Curl transport aircraft - photo RAF.jpg

An-26 Curl transport aircraft - photo RAF.jpg

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21 mai 2015 4 21 /05 /mai /2015 18:50
Initiative to mitigate human-related risks in cyber space signed


Brussels - 19 May, 2015 by European Defence Agency


On 18 May, the Ministers of Defence of Austria, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Netherlands as well as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Head of Agency on behalf of the European External Action Service, EU Military Committee and European Defence Agency, signed a pledge to mitigate human-related risks in cyber space by launching the Cyber Hygiene initiative. The initiative is an important contribution to the implementation of the EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework, notably on awareness raising for CSDP structures, missions and operations.


By joining the pledge, the signatory Member States promise to adopt and implement internal guidelines for best behavioural principles for cyber hygiene by the end of 2016. This includes, for example, introducing a mandatory e-learning platform.

Initiated by the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Estonian Ministry of Defence, the initiative calls to strengthen cyber security culture as low awareness and human-related risks are a common cause of cyber incidents. A large number of cyber incidents can be avoided, or their effects greatly mitigated, if certain behavioural cyber security procedures and implementation measures are applied. It is part of a wider project, which aims to educate the members of defence sector institutions on secure behaviour while using online resources. 

Beyond its commitment to implement internal guidelines, the Agency will contribute to expanding this initiative to other interested EU Member States.

EDA activities

The December 2013 European Council identified cyber defence as one of the priority areas to take forward in the European Union. Furthermore, in November 2014 the Council adopted the EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework. Cyber defence has also been identified as a priority area in the EDA’s Capability Development Plan. 

The armed forces are reliant on cyberspace both as a user and as a domain to achieve defence and security missions. The Agency is active in the fields of cyber defence capabilities and in the research & technology domain.

In the last three years, the Agency has completed ten cyber defence related projects with a financial volume of about two million euros. This equals to approximately 10% of EDA’s operational budget. Among these ten projects are a stocktaking study of cyber defence capabilities among all EDA Member States and EU institutions, the establishment of a cyber defence research agenda and cyber defence training courses for senior military decision makers as well as the assessment of the feasibility of a EU Cyber Defence Centre for CSDP. 

Copyright picture: European Union, 2015. 
From left to right: Ms. Jeanine HENNIS-PLASSCHAERT, Dutch Minister of Defence; Mr Gerald KLUG, Austrian Federal Minister for Defence and Sport; Mr Sven MIKSER, Estonian Minister of Defence; Ms. Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Mr Raimonds VEJONIS, Latvian Minister for Defence; Mr Juozas OLEKAS, Lithuanian Minister for National Defence; Ms. Piritta ASUNMAA, PSC Ambassador of Finland


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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
Place de la coopération régionale dans la démarche stratégique de la Lituanie

18/03/2015 Živilė KALIBATAITĖ -  IRSEM


En quelques pages seulement, les Fiches de l'IRSEM présentent l’état de l’art synthétique d’une question précise pour en indiquer les principaux débats, animateurs et enseignements.


La place de la coopération régionale dans la démarche stratégique d’un petit État européen. Le cas de la Lituanie.


Fiche de l'IRSEM n°37 - 2015

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17 mars 2015 2 17 /03 /mars /2015 21:50
photo Lithuania MoD

photo Lithuania MoD


March 17, 2015 Defense News (AFP)


VILNIUS, Lithuania — Berlin will send more than 500 troops to Lithuania for military exercises this year to underscore its NATO commitments amid tensions with Russia, the Baltic state's defence ministry said Tuesday.


A company of soldiers will be deployed to the formerly Soviet-ruled Baltic state from April to July, and separate units will arrive for exercises in July and November, the ministry said in a statement.


Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, who discussed the plan with visiting German Gen. Joerg Vollmer, said deployments were "a demonstration of NATO solidarity."


"Our allies are ready to fulfill the obligation to boost Lithuania's security together with us," Olekas told AFP.


Russia's alleged intervention in Ukraine has jangled nerves in Lithuania and fellow Baltic states Estonia and Latvia, which joined NATO in 2004 after regaining independence from the crumbling USSR in 1990-91.


A series of exercises by Russia in the Baltic region has stoked concern that the Kremlin could try to destabilize it to test NATO.


The United States has deployed around 600 troops in the Baltic states and Poland, and NATO agreed to set up command centers in the region this summer.


Another several hundred airmen from Italy, Poland and Spain are deployed in NATO air policing patrols at bases in the alliance's Baltic members bordering Russia.

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 18:50
La Lituanie va rétablir le service militaire obligatoire, craignant la Russie

Des soldats lituaniens subissent un entraînement aux opérations en zone urbaine, au centre international d’entraînement aux opérations de maintien de la paix, près de Yavoriv (Ukraine), le 14 septembre 2013, dans le cadre de l’exercice Maple Arch 2013 (caporal-chef David McCord/Affaires publiques/Armée de terre/5e Division canadienne)


24 février 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)


La Lituanie va rétablir temporairement le service militaire obligatoire, vu l’actuel environnement géopolitique, a indiqué mardi la présidente lituanienne Dalia Grybauskaite, alors que ce pays balte craint le grand voisin russe, son ancienne puissance dominante.


Nous devons rétablir temporairement le service militaire obligatoire, a déclaré la présidente après une réunion d’urgence du Conseil national de défense. L’actuel environnement géopolitique requiert un renforcement et une accélération du recrutement pour l’armée, a-t-elle ajouté.


Le projet, qui doit encore obtenir l’approbation du parlement, prévoit un appel sous les drapeaux limité à 3.500 hommes par an, âgés de 19 à 26 ans, pour une période de neuf mois.


Les premiers conscrits devront se présenter dans les casernes cet automne.


La Lituanie avait abandonné le service militaire obligatoire en 2008, quatre ans après son adhésion à l’Otan. Son armée de métier compte actuellement 8.000 hommes, à qui s’ajoutent quelque 4.500 réservistes.

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18 février 2015 3 18 /02 /février /2015 17:50
EDA Chief Executive visits Lithuania


Vilnius - 17 February, 2015 European Defence Agency


Mr Marijus Velička, Vice-Minister of Defence and Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) met in Vilnius today to discuss Lithuania’s participation in Agency projects as well as the role of EDA in fostering European defence cooperation.


The meeting in Lithuania was the second of Jorge Domecq’s visits to every EDA Member State in order to exchange views with defence ministers and explore ways in which EDA could further support national efforts.


After the meeting, Mr. Marijus Velička stated: "Evolving security challenges demand for more responsibility from the European nations, and no doubt - the European Defence Agency is one of the most visible players in the European defence arena. Lithuania is directly interested in Europe with credible military capabilities and self-sufficient crisis management tools, therefore we fully share the thoughts of newly appointed EDA's Chief Executive to foster the improvement of European defence capabiities. My country is planning to double its defence spending by 2020 and we see much added value in common initiatives between Lithuania and EDA. The Agency's priorities presented by Mr Domecq are fully supported in Vilnius. Moreover, Lithuania is planning to join most of them in the near future."


Great expectations

Jorge Domecq, EDA Chief Executive, also shared his impressions on the meeting: “I am very pleased that one of my first visits as EDA Chief Executive has been to Lithuania. We have had a substantive exchange of views on the current state of European defence cooperation and expectations for the next European Council discussion on defence matters. Tomorrow’s informal meeting of defence ministers in Riga, and the EDA ministerial Steering Board in May will be important in terms of preparing the contribution of defence ministers to the European Council. I took the opportunity to reaffirm that the Agency offers a flexible approach to defence cooperation This allows all Member States, irrespective of their size, to take full advantage of the Agency  and of the added-value we can provide. A recent successful example is the joint procurement initiative of anti-tank ammunition that the Agency administered on behalf of the Baltic countries, the Czech Republic and Poland. We are ready to support more value for money cases like this."

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18 janvier 2015 7 18 /01 /janvier /2015 20:20
Le ministre canadien de la Défense nationale rencontrera son homologue lituanien


18.01.2015 news.gc.ca


L’honorable Rob Nicholson, C.P., c.r., député de Niagara Falls et ministre de la Défense nationale, accueillera officiellement le ministre de la Défense nationale de la Lituanie, Juozas Olekas, à Ottawa, le 19 et le 20 janvier 2015. Les ministres auront l’occasion de réaffirmer les liens étroits entre le Canada et la Lituanie, et de discuter d’un nombre de préoccupations communes en matière de défense et de sécurité, y compris les menaces continues le long des frontières de la région des États baltes et de l’Europe de l’Est.

En bref

  • Le Canada a été l’un des premiers alliés à ratifier l’adhésion de la Lituanie à l’OTAN en 2004.
  • Entre 1994 et 2009, le Canada a fourni de la formation linguistique, d’état-major et de perfectionnement professionnel à environ 450 officiers militaires lituaniens dans le cadre du Programme d’instruction et de coopération militaires (PICM) du ministère de la Défense nationale.


« En tant qu’alliés de l’OTAN, le Canada et la Lituanie entretiennent un lien inaltérable et solidement établi grâce à notre engagement envers le principe de défense collective. J’ai hâte d’échanger ouvertement des points de vue avec le ministre Olekas en ce qui concerne de nombreux enjeux relatifs à la défense et à la sécurité qui sont communs à nos deux pays. Je me réjouis également à perspective de réaffirmer l’engagement solide du Canada envers la sécurité et la stabilité de la Lituanie et de la région des États baltes. »

L’honorable Rob Nicholson
C.P., c.r., député de Niagara Falls et ministre de la Défense nationale

Liens connexes

Relations Canada-Lituanie

Le gouvernement du Canada va envoyer des CF18 en Lituanie pour la mission de police aérienne de l’OTAN dans les États baltes

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16 décembre 2014 2 16 /12 /décembre /2014 18:50
EDA holds first C-27J pooled maintenance and training meeting


Brussels - 10 December, 2014 European Defence Agency


The European Defence Agency recently held a meeting with European C-27J Spartan operators in order to identify potential solutions to support this user community.


Representatives from the community of European C-27J users attended this meeting which was held last month at the European Defence Agency (EDA) premises in Brussels. Bulgaria, Italy, Romania as well as Greece and Lithuania currently operate the C-27J Spartan twin-engine tactical transport aircraft. “EDA is an ideal forum to harmonise requirements of the European C-27J community”, Pete Round, EDA Capability, Armament and Technology Director, stresses. “Together with Member States, we can identify ways to enhance the global C-27J capability through a variety of pooling & sharing initiatives”, he adds. "It also fits perfectly in the EATF partnership signed in 2011 by 20 Member States."


Cooperation opportunities

Over the course of the meeting, EDA put forward three main domains in which cooperation could yield significant benefits for the European C-27J user community: training, logistics and operations. Various ideas were put on the table, such as the pooling of C-27J simulators, the sharing of spare parts or the optimisation of the different mission kits currently used by Member States for their aircraft (fire-fighting, command and control, medical evacuation, etc.)

Participants agreed to meet again early in 2015 to discuss the way forward and assess the potential for joining existing EDA Pooling & Sharing mechanisms, such as the “Sharing of Spare Parts” project. Meanwhile, EDA stands ready to facilitate the establishment of relevant ad hoc projects in accordance with the “à la carte“ mindset of the Agency.



European C-27J users have already been involved in other EDA initiatives, such as the EATT (European Air Transport Training) series of exercises. Earlier this year, Lithuania and Bulgaria deployed C-27Js as part of EATT14, which was held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

This EDA initiative aims to complement existing cooperative efforts such as the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, the Spartan User Group, which also gathers non-European C-27J users, and the European Air Transport Command (EATC) which was recently joined by Italy who offered to “pool” some of its C-27Js through this operational command. 



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21 novembre 2014 5 21 /11 /novembre /2014 07:50
Le secrétaire général de l'Otan cherche à rassurer les pays baltes


Tallinn, 20 nov 2014 Marine & Océans (AFP)


Le secrétaire général de l'Otan Jens Stoltenberg a commencé jeudi une tournée éclair en Estonie, en Lettonie et en Lituanie destinée à rassurer ces petits pays membres de l'Otan, inquiets du comportement de la Russie dans le conflit ukrainien.


"L'Otan est là pour protéger et défendre l'Estonie", a-t-il dit sur la base aérienne d'Ämari (nord), où il a rencontré le Premier ministre estonien Taavi Roivas, ainsi que des militaires américains, allemands et estoniens.


Il a notamment félicité Tallinn pour avoir dépensé 2% de son PIB pour la défense, la donnant en exemple aux autres membres de l'Alliance, et rappelant "son rôle de leader dans le renforcement de la cyberdéfense". L'Estonie est considérée comme un des pays les plus avancés dans le développement de technologies numériques. Elle accueille cette semaine Cyber Coalition 2014, le plus grand exercice cybernétique dans l'histoire de l'Otan.


M. Stoltenberg a évoqué aussi l'augmentation du nombre de vols d'avions militaires russes autour de l'Estonie et d'autres pays de l'Otan. "Nous avons eu plus de 100 interception (d'avions russes), ce qui est le triple de l'année dernière", a-t-il dit.


Interrogé sur la vente de deux navires de guerre Mistral français à la Russie, M. Stoltenberg s'est abstenu de tout commentaire. "L'Otan de vend pas de matériel militaire, ce sont les Etats qui le font. Ce n'est pas à l'Otan de décider comment ils doivent conduire leurs affaires", a-t-il dit.


Il devait se rendre jeudi après-midi à Riga et visiter la Lituanie vendredi.


A Riga, il suivra de près la secrétaire d'Etat adjointe américaine pour l'Europe Victoria Nuland, qui s'y est arrêtée en route pour l'Ukraine pour accompagner le vice-président Joe Biden. Elle y a déclaré que les Etats-Unis "attendaient toujours de voir l'engagement de la Russie et des séparatistes" à appliquer les accords de Minsk, citant "un vrai cessez-le-feu sur la ligne de contact, la fermeture de la frontière internationale et le retrait des forces étrangères" du territoire ukrainien.


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10 septembre 2014 3 10 /09 /septembre /2014 11:50
Nato-led Exercise Steadfast Javelin II concludes

500 paratroopers were dropped over Lielvarde Airbase in Latvia, to take control and clear the airfield of enemy forces during Exercise Steadfast Javelin II. Photo Nato.


10 September 2014 army-technology.com


The member countries of Nato have completed the large-scale, multinational Steadfast Javelin II exercise, which tested the allied interoperability.


Carried out in Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, the seven-day exercise involved the participation from more than 2,000 troops from ten allied nations.


The participating countries included Poland, Italy, Canada, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Latvia, the UK and the US.


The Nato Allied Land Command-led drill was aimed at increasing interoperability and synchronising complex operations between allied air and ground forces through airborne and air assault missions.


Joint Forces Command Brunssum (JFCB) commander general Hans-Lothar Domrose said: "With this exercise, Nato sent the clear message that it is committed and ready to protect member nations' territory at any time.


"The alliance is capable and willing to defend the countries of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland should the need arise."


During the exercise, 500 paratroopers were dropped from a US Air Force's (USAF) C-130 aircraft over the Lielvarde Airbase in Latvia, in order to take control and clear the airfield of enemy air defence and forces.


In addition, 160 allied force paratroopers were dropped in a similar operation in Lithuania.


The airdrops were combined with air-assault raids across Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, to demonstrate how well Nato air and ground troops work in tandem.


Before the start of drill, air and ground forces gathered at the Ramstein Airbase in Germany to begin planning, rehearsals and the loading of equipment and paratroopers necessary for the successful completion of the mission.

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8 septembre 2014 1 08 /09 /septembre /2014 16:50
International partners sign Joint Expeditionary Force agreement

The Latvian Chief of Defence meeting British soldiers during a NATO training exercise


5 September 2014 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP


Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has signed a letter of intent with international partners to develop the Joint Expeditionary Force.


The letter of intent, signed with partners from Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway, aims to develop the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) so that it is fully operational before 2018.

The JEF is a pool of high readiness, adaptable forces that is designed to enhance the UK’s ability to respond rapidly, anywhere in the world, with like-minded allies, or on behalf of international organisations such as the UN or NATO.

The UK’s contribution will include the lead commando, airborne, armoured, aviation, air and maritime task groups.

The Defence Secretary said:

I am very pleased that we have signed a letter of intent with our partners to establish the Joint Expeditionary Force.

This will be developed around the UK’s existing high readiness units and will provide a capability that can respond anywhere in the world, in any environment, as part of a coalition, or on behalf of international organisations such as the UN and NATO.

We are stronger together. Our partners from Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway have all agreed to attach forces to the JEF when the time is right for us to stand together.

British and Estonian soldiers
A British soldier liaises with an Estonian anti-tank section commander during a NATO training exercise [Picture: Specialist Joshua Leonard]

The signing ceremony took place with all 28 defence ministers in Cardiff aboard HMS Duncan on 4 September at the NATO Summit. During the signing, discussions took place on how the agreement will allow the UK and JEF partners to continue with the excellent operational co-operation that has been achieved to date in places like Afghanistan.

The force will provide the UK’s focus for developing flexible, rapid response forces for NATO, or other coalition operations, to meet together the challenges of an unpredictable world. Through the UK-led JEF, a model for others to follow as well as a focus for fairer defence burden-sharing is being provided.

For the latest updates visit the NATO Summit Wales 2014 page on GOV.UK and @NATOWales on Twitter.

The aim is to create a UK military framework, focused around its existing high readiness capabilities, that its partners can join up with. While it is the UK’s intention to fully integrate the UK’s JEF partners’ contributions before 2018, the JEF could deploy immediately if required.

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1 septembre 2014 1 01 /09 /septembre /2014 19:50
A Russian SU-27 Flanker (top) with a RAF Typhoon fighter

A Russian SU-27 Flanker (top) with a RAF Typhoon fighter


1 September 2014 Ministry of Defence


The handover marks the conclusion of a four-month NATO deployment to secure NATO’s airspace over Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania


Royal Air Force No 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) has formally handed over the role of supporting nation in the Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission to the Royal Canadian Air Force.


The handover ceremony marked the conclusion of the four month deployment of four RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft that have been providing reassurance to the UK’s allies in the region.


Over the past 10 years the BAP mission has seen NATO allies deploy air defence aircraft to secure NATO’s airspace over the Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.


Additionally, the role of lead nation was handed over from the Polish Air Force to the Portuguese Air Force.


The British Ambassador to Lithuania, His Excellency David Hunt said:

    The deployment of the RAF Typhoons has been seen as an act of solidarity during a period of genuine insecurity in Lithuania’s Eastern neighbourhood. Our bilateral relationship is already close but the RAF’s augmentation of BAP has added another dimension to our growing defence cooperation.

    The RAF has enhanced the UK’s reputation over the last four months and I am very grateful for everything they have done.


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1 juillet 2014 2 01 /07 /juillet /2014 07:35
Lithuanian special operations forces personnel headed home having completed their task in the province of Zabul, Afghanistan, successfully

Photo credits: I.Budzeikaitė and LITHSOF


2014.06.30 kam.lt


On June 29 personnel of the Lithuanian Special Operations Force’s Aitvaras squadron departed from the province of Zabul of Afghanistan. The Lithuanian military have transferred the responsibility for security in the province to local security forces thus successfully completing the task entrusted to them by NATO and leadership of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Since 2007 Lithuanian Special Operations Squadron has been completing high-intensity combat assignments in Zabul province of Afghanistan as part of NATO’s ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and trained for carrying out its duties a special rapid response company of Afghan National Police in Zabul.


Having left Zabul the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces personnel are still acting as part of NATO operation in Afghanistan and are completing combat tasks in Kandahar province where their assignment is to provide training for the special rapid response company of the Afghan National Police in Kandahar.


The formal transfer of responsibility for security ceremony y was held in Zabul on June 4. “The fact that we are able to finalise the training we have been providing for local security forces and to transfer the responsibility for security for the special company of the Afghan National Police in Zabul is a clear evidence that our Special Operations Forces troops are successful with reaching the objectives of the multinational operation in Afghanistan,” Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Arvydas Pocius said at the ceremony.


While completing the tasks of NATO operation in Zabul Lithuanian military received plenty of praises from allies for their readiness level and the ease with which they were fulfilling the most complex of the tasks.


The tasks of the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces troops in Zabul was to train officers of the special company of the Afghan National Police and to prepare them for independent completion of their duties: from operational planning and completion of tasks to operational control.


Also, Lithuanian troops were completing special operations of different spectra (special reconnaissance, identification and neutralisation of enemy commanders) to enhance the effect of training and contribute to the improvement of the security situation in the province. While delivering training Lithuanians not only delivered their experience for their Afghan students but also earned the trust of the local security forces.


Lithuanian special operations forces personnel headed home having completed their task in the province of Zabul, Afghanistan, successfully
Lithuanian special operations forces personnel headed home having completed their task in the province of Zabul, Afghanistan, successfully
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7 mai 2014 3 07 /05 /mai /2014 07:40
La Russie a suspendu un accord militaire, dit la Lituanie


05/05/2014 zonebourse.com


La Russie a suspendu un accord conclu en 2001 avec la Lituanie sur des inspections militaires réciproques, a annoncé lundi le ministère lituanien de la Défense.


Aux termes de cet accord, la Lituanie pouvait procéder à des inspections des forces déployées à Kaliningrad, enclave russe entre la Lituanie et la Pologne où stationne la flotte russe de la Baltique. La Russie pouvait en faire de même avec l'armée lituanienne.


"La Lituanie a respecté toutes les conditions de cet accord et n'a fourni aucun prétexte à une telle initiative russe", écrit un porte-parole du ministère lituanien de la Défense dans un courriel adressé à Reuters.


Les trois pays baltes (Estonie, Lettonie, Lituanie) observent avec inquiétude la situation en Ukraine, elle aussi ancienne république soviétique, où la Russie a annexé la Crimée et est accusée par les autorités à Kiev de provoquer une agitation séparatiste dans l'est du pays. (Andrius Sytas; Bertrand Boucey pour le service français, édité par Marc Angrand)

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6 mai 2014 2 06 /05 /mai /2014 16:50
Defence Secretary visits Typhoons in Lithuania

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania [Picture: Corporal Neil Bryden RAF, Crown copyright]


6 May 2014 Ministry of Defence


Philip Hammond has visited Royal Air Force personnel deployed to Lithuania as part of the Nato Baltic air policing mission.


The detachment of 4 Typhoon multi-role fighter aircraft arrived at Siauliai Air Base on 28 April, ahead of a 4-month deployment alongside the Polish Air Force, providing reassurance to Nato allies in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

During his visit, Mr Hammond met with Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas, before touring the RAF detachment and speaking with RAF personnel.

Mr Hammond and Mr Olekas then witnessed a practice scramble with pilots and ground crew sprinting to launch a pair of live-armed Typhoons.

Defence Secretary visits Typhoons in Lithuania
Typhoon aircraft practise a scramble during the Defence Secretary's visit to Siauliai Air Base [Picture: Corporal Neil Bryden RAF, Crown copyright]

Mr Hammond said:

We want to make very clear that we stand by our commitments to our Nato allies.

The deployment of these state-of-the art Typhoon jets to reinforce the Baltic air policing mission, and the extra British troops to exercises in Estonia, underlines our commitment to our partners in the region.

The UK, alongside our international partners, remains steadfast in our condemnation of Russia’s behaviour and we urge the Russian government to take the appropriate steps to de-escalate the crisis.

The Baltic air policing standing defensive mission is undertaken by rotations of aircraft from contributing nations on a 4-month cycle.

NATO members such as the Baltic states, who do not have their own air policing assets, are assisted by others.

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29 avril 2014 2 29 /04 /avril /2014 11:50
A Royal Air Force Typhoon taking off from RAF Coningsby - Photo Corporal Phil Major RAF

A Royal Air Force Typhoon taking off from RAF Coningsby - Photo Corporal Phil Major RAF


28 April 2014 Ministry of Defence


Four Royal Air Force Typhoons have deployed today to take part in the Nato Baltic air policing mission over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.


The UK fast jets will reinforce the Polish contribution to the air policing mission; a standing defensive mission undertaken by rotations of aircraft from contributing nations on a 4-month cycle.

The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced this to the House of Commons in March. The deployment forms part of a series of measures taken by Nato to support and reassure its eastern member states.

Mr Hammond said:

In the wake of recent events in Ukraine, it is right that Nato takes steps to reaffirm very publicly its commitment to the collective security of its members.

As a leading member of Nato, the UK is playing a central role, underlined by today’s deployment of RAF Typhoon aircraft to Lithuania.

This, alongside the other action we are taking, will provide reassurance to our Nato allies in eastern Europe and the Baltic states.

A Royal Air Force Typhoon taking off from RAF Coningsby - Photo Corporal Phil Major RAF

A Royal Air Force Typhoon taking off from RAF Coningsby - Photo Corporal Phil Major RAF


As part of standing arrangements within Nato, members of the alliance without their own air policing assets are assisted by others.

The RAF’s Typhoon FGR4, based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and RAF Leuchars in Fife, is also used to provide air policing within UK airspace as part of the ‘Quick Reaction Alert’ and in the Falkland Islands.

A multi-role combat aircraft, it is capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, from air policing through to high intensity conflict.

This Typhoon deployment comes 6 weeks after the UK Sentry E-3D aircraft, which is part of the Nato Airborne Warning and Control System Force, was deployed to Polish and Romanian airspace to provide additional reassurance to our allies.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
NATO Ministers Visit Lithuania Air Base

Three US Air Force F-15C fighters on the tarmac at Lithuania’s Šiauliai air base, where they recently reinforced the Baltic Air Police mission which is currently marking its 10th anniversary. (Lithuania AF photo)


April 3, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Lithuanian Ministry of Defence; issued April 2, 2014)


Delegation of Foreign and Defence Ministers Will Pay A Visit to the Šiauliai Air Base in the Margins of Vilnius Conference 2014


On April 3 a delegation of foreign and defence ministers of NATO member states and high-ranking NATO officials, participants of the international Vilnius Conference 2014 held to mark Lithuania’s 10th anniversary of NATO membership on April 3-4, will be conducting a visit in the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai.


Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas will meet the delegation, then the guests will proceed to the Quick Reaction Alert area of the Air Base where air contingents of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission are deployed, view F-15 C Eagle aircraft of the U.S. Air Contingent currently in charge of the mission, and observe their flights.


Minister J. Olekas will present the Medal of Merit to Colonel Harold Van Pee, commander of the first rotation of the Belgian Air Force’s contingent which opened the Baltic Air Policing mission on 29 March, 2004. Another medal will be awarded to the commander of the 2nd Belgian rotation, Major Olivier van der Linden, at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Belgium.


The Šiauliai Air Base and Vilnius Conference 2014 is expected to be attended by the heads and delegations of the foreign and defence ministries of Albania, Georgia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia, and Romania, NATO Deputy Secretary General, and other high-ranking NATO officials.


The international Vilnius Conference 2014 is organised on April 3–4 by the President’s Office and Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defence in collaboration with the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence, Vytautas Magnus University and the Centre for Geopolitical Studies.


The main theme of the conference is NATO’s open door policy. At the event discussions will be held on the importance of NATO enlargement, future vision for the Alliance and partner countries’ role in it.

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30 mars 2014 7 30 /03 /mars /2014 11:50
La Lituanie revoit son budget défense à la hausse


28/03/2014 zonebourse.com (Reuters)


La Lituanie, Etat balte où la crise ukrainienne suscite des inquiétudes, va porter son budget de défense de 0,8 à 2% de son produit intérieur brut (PIB), conformément aux recommandations de l'Otan, a annoncé vendredi le gouvernement.


La coalition au pouvoir et l'opposition doivent signer un accord en ce sens samedi, à l'occasion du dixième anniversaire de l'adhésion de la Lituanie à l'Alliance atlantique.


L'initiative reste toutefois symbolique, dans la mesure où la Lituanie ne représente que 0,4% du budget de défense cumulé des Etats membres de l'Otan. Sa sécurité repose en revanche quasi-totalement sur l'organisation.


"Dans le contexte des événements ukrainiens, la Lituanie sait qu'elle peut compter si besoin sur l'aide de l'Otan. Nous ne devons toutefois pas nous en remettre seulement à l'Alliance, mais investir davantage dans l'armée", souligne le Premier ministre Algirdas Butkevicius, dans un communiqué. (Andrius Sytas, Jean-Philippe Lefief pour le service français)

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