Lithuania has officially signed a $495 million deal with the U.S. that covers procurement of eight Lockheed Martin [LMT]-built M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence has announced.

The deal was previously approved by the U.S. State Department in early November, and arrived as Lithuania’s Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas met with senior Pentagon leaders last week.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hosts Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas for a bilateral meeting at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2022. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

“I am glad the signature concerning acquisition of this crucial system has been concluded…this year. Now our talks with the U.S. proceed to address HIMARS integration – personnel training, maintenance. It is particularly important that the HIMARS is procured by all the Baltic states. We have been and we will be actively collaborating with Latvia and Estonia in developing this capability and enhancing security of the whole region,” Anušauskas said in a statement.

Along with the eight HIMARS, the State Department previously noted the $495 million deal is set to include 72 GMLRS rockets, 72 Extended Range GMLRS rockets and 18 ATACMS missiles, all of which are also built by Lockheed Martin (Defense Daily, Nov. 10). 

Lithuania said the deal also covers procurement of training and system maintenance equipment, services for training personnel, system integration work and connection with the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System.

The acquired artillery rocket system is compatible with the other technologies used in the Lithuanian Armed Forces, therefore [it’s] easier to integrate into the existing defense plans and step up deterrence,” the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence, said in a statement.

Anušauskas met with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon last week, with the leaders discussing “the strength of the U.S.-Lithuania defense relationship and ongoing efforts to support Ukraine,” according to a DoD readout of the meeting.

“Secretary Austin and Minister Anušauskas exchanged views on Russia’s cruel and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Secretary Austin reaffirmed U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and thanked Minister Anušauskas for Lithuania’s substantial contribution to Ukrainian security. Secretary Austin also lauded Lithuania’s robust defense spending and welcomed Lithuania’s investment in new capabilities like the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System,” the Pentagon wrote in the readout. 

Earlier this month, the Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $430.9 million production contract for HIMARS launchers to help replenish stockpiles of the weapon sent to Ukraine (Defense Daily, Dec. 2). 

Lithuania also announced plans in October to acquire 300 more Oshkosh Defense [OSK]-built Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV), bringing its plans to buy 500 total JLTVs after previously signing a deal in 2019 to order 200 of the vehicles (Defense Daily, Oct. 28).