US moves troops, tanks into Lithuania in message to Russia
The United States began deploying a battalion of troops and dozens of tanks to Lithuania for an unprecedented six-month rotation on 21 October, a move sought by the Baltic EU and NATO state to deter neighbouring Russia.
Dozens of Abrams tanks and Bradley armoured vehicles arrived by railway at the army training area in Pabrade.
Lithuania's Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis said the deployment of some 500 US troops scheduled to stay through the winter proves that a US military presence on NATO's eastern flank ‘is no longer a taboo’.
‘First and foremost, it is a message to Lithuania and neighbouring NATO states that allies are together with us,’ the minister told AFP. ‘And it is also a message to Russia that the US is engaged, and it is an additional deterrence element.’
Ben Hodges, the former commander of US Army forces in Europe, said the US deployment was a ‘manifestation of American commitment to continued deterrence along NATO's eastern flank’, at the time when US was pulling American troops out of Syria and abandoning its Kurdish allies.
‘Nobody, including the Russians, should be confused by the Americans' commitment to NATO despite what was I think a mistake of pulling out of Syria," Hodges told AFP.
Two years ago, NATO deployed a German-led multinational battalion of around 1,000 troops to Lithuania, an EU and NATO nation of 2.8 million people.
The alliance installed similar battalions in Poland and Baltic states Estonia and Latvia as tripwires against possible Russian adventurism in the region after Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
The entire region had been dominated by the Soviet Union for more than 40 years after World War II.
More from Land Warfare
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Rheinmetall has received orders worth billions of Euro to replenish munitions of European countries supplied to Ukraine, particularly 120mm and 155mm shells, as well as replenish stocks donated by European countries.
Serenity, a hostile fire detection (HFD) system, combines EO and acoustic sensors to pinpoint the origin of heavy weapons and explosive detonations up to 10km away in any direction.
Israeli’s war in Gaza has seen the country’s upgraded Merkava 4 MBTs utilising advanced AI capabilities while research has continued on the development of new defensive solutions for the tanks.
Initially developed in the late 1980s and entering full-rate production in 1993, BAE Systems Hägglunds’ Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90) has since entered service with 10 European countries. Spanning five iterations following continuous development and upgrades, the platform’s latest variant has been the MkIV.
The British Army’s new fleet of attack helicopters are a major step-change from the previous various and the force has a strong focus on the opportunities for spiral development and crewed-uncrewed teaming.
Unveiled at Eurosatory 2004, the Oerlikon Skyranger is a mobile ground based air defence system (GBAD) which can be deployed against air targets at short and very short range and against ground targets. The system for Germany is the missile and gun system alone mounted on Boxer IFVs.