Lithuania signs deal for its first US military helicopters


WARSAW, Poland — Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defense on Friday signed a 181 million euro (US$213 million) deal with its U.S. counterpart for four Lockheed Martin UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.

The deal marks the first acquisition of US helicopters in the history of the Lithuanian military.

The contract, which was signed during an official visit by Lithuanian Minister of Defense Raimundas Karoblis to Washington, D.C., also covers the purchase of additional equipment, spare parts and a set of training, repair and logistical support, the ministry said in a statement.

The new helicopters will allow Lithuania to replace its obsolete Soviet-made Mil Mi-8T helicopters with Western-made helicopters as part of the country’s military modernization efforts.

“Dropping the last Soviet relic [aircraft] and progressing to a western helicopter platform, we are starting a whole new phase for the Lithuanian Air Force and moving forward in step with [the] The armies of the United States and other most advanced NATO allies,” the minister said.

Deliveries are expected to begin in late 2024 and the deal gives the country the option to purchase two more helicopters. As part of the agreement, the US government will support the acquisition project with an allocation of 25 million euros.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Polish correspondent for Defense News.


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