Airspace Surveillance and Control Command of the Lithuanian Air Force begins conducting air surveillance tasks with two long-range 3D radars from a NATO manufacturer located in Antaveršis (Southern Lithuania) and Degučiai (Western Lithuania).
New infrastructure and radars is Lithuania’s largest contribution so far to the development of both, national and NATO collective defence capabilities.
“The operational launch of the two long-range radars marks a huge qualitative leap in strengthening both, Lithuania’s national and NATO’s air surveillance capability, a part of the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System,” Deputy Defence Minister Edvinas Kerza said during a visit to the Airspace Surveillance and Control post in Antaveršis on December 4.
“Today’s event – initiation of the radar system – continues Lithuania’s steadfast endeavour to secure its Freedom and to never allow the atrocities of the past to be repeated. NATO stands with you in this endeavour”, NATO Communications and Information Agency General Manager Kevin J. Scheid said.
The upgrade of radar post infrastructure encompasses building new premises, installation of new communication systems and new NATO standard long-range radars, manufactured by Spanish company INDRA, which will replace outdated Soviet era radars that the Lithuanian Armed Forces operated until present.
“Cutting-edge systems installed in the radars will help ensure uninterrupted and effective airspace and border area surveillance, air policing functions, response to possible airspace violation, and warning of potential threats,” Commander of the Airspace Surveillance and Control Command Lieutenant Colonel Aras Rimkus said.
Lithuania will receive the combined NATO Air Surveillance data, allowing visibility on air traffic way beyond the nation’s borders. According to Commander, the new radars will allow Lithuania to improve operational conditions for military aviation of NATO allies, as well as for SAR operations.
The Airspace Surveillance and Control posts in Antaveršis and Degučiai are planned to become fully operationally capable as of 2019.
The project of Airspace Surveillance modernisation has been developed by the Ministry of National Defence, NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) and the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) for over a decade now.