American Switchblade 600 combat drones will be delivered to Lithuania next year, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
Wahid Nawabi, CEO of AeroVironment, confirmed the news to Arvydas Anusauskas who is currently in the United States.
Lithuania signed a contract for these drones in December 2022.
“We are the first country in the world, after the US itself, to acquire the new Switchblade combat drones. This will be a significant reinforcement of our armed forces with a redeployable capability that will allow us to destroy armored enemy vehicles up to 40 km away. We are already seeing these effects in Ukraine,” Anusauskas was quoted as saying in the statement.
On Friday, the Lithuanian defense minister visited the AeroVironment production facility in California where he inspected the equipment under development and discussed possibilities for further cooperation.
Switchblade 600 combat drones are the next generation of long-range combat drones, featuring ultra-precise optics, the ability to stay airborne for up to 40 minutes, and an effective anti-tank warhead capable of destroying heavy armored vehicles, including tanks. This kamikaze drone is capable of destroying targets in a “top-down” attack.
Together with these combat drones, Lithuania is buying drone launching and control equipment, a simulator for personnel training and a maintenance package from the US.
The US is one of the main security allies in the Baltic region and one of Lithuania’s main partners in terms of defense acquisitions. Lithuania currently has more than 60 acquisition projects with the US. Each year, US assistance funds allocated to Lithuania and the other Baltic states contribute to the accelerated development of Lithuania’s defense capabilities.
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