Latvia and Lithuania to provide Stinger man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine

According to a statement published by Defense ministries of Latvia and Lithuania, on January 21, 2022, Latvia and Lithuania will provide Stinger man-portable anti-aircraft missile (MANPADS) and adjacent equipment to bolster Ukraine’s defensive military capabilities.
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Lithuanian soldiers of the Motorised Infantry Brigade "Geležinis Vilkas" Air Defence Battery operate the Air Defence Missile System "Stinger". (Picture source Wikimedia)

The Baltic countries will continue to co-operate to deliver weapons to Ukraine expeditiously. Defence ministers also expressed hope that there will never be a need for Ukraine to actually use these weapon systems and that Russia will change its aggressive posture.

In light of Russia’s increase in military pressure in and around Ukraine, the Baltic States have decided to answer Ukrainian needs and to provide additional defence related assistance. This aid will further enhance Ukraine’s capability to defend its territory and population in case of possible Russian aggression.

This defence related assistance follows the approval of the United States government on the third party transfer to provide U.S.-made equipment to Ukraine.

In August 2017, a mutual contract has been signed between the Latvian Defence Ministry and the Danish Defence Ministry for the procurement of Stinger MANPADS Man-portable air-defence systems used by the Danish armed forces, as confirmed by the Latvian Defence Ministry. The Stinger is also in service with the Lithuanian armed forces since 2002.

The FIM-92 Stinger is a man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) that operates as an infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM). The MANPADS was developed by the American company General Dynamics.

The Stinger can be operated by a single operator, but usually includes a spotter for faster target identification. The latest version of the Stinger missile can destroy aerial targets at a maximum range of 4.8 km and at a maximum altitude of 3.8 km. The missile has improved performance against small targets, such as drones and cruise missiles.