Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Lithuania calls for opening the European Defense Fund to American companies

For Greta Monika Tučkutė, Lithuania's Deputy Defense Minister, it is now time to open the European defense fund to American companies, so as to strengthen the deterrence capabilities of European armies in the face of the Russian threat.

This is sure to provoke a reaction, particularly in France or Italy. In an interview given to Politico , Lithuanian Deputy Defense Minister Greta Monika Tučkutė spoke in favor of opening the European Defense Fund to American companies, until now reserved for cooperative defense programs. relying only on European companies.

According to the Baltic minister, this would, in fact, improve and increase transatlantic links between European and American armies and industrialists, and thus better deter Russia.

For her, if competition with American industries in terms of innovation is necessary for Europeans, this must be replaced by efficiency when it comes to equipping the armies themselves.

Lithuania sets an example when it comes to European preferences

The charge led by Greta Monika Tučkutė, and by extension by Lithuania, is not trivial or devoid of context. Indeed, Vilnius cannot be taxed, in Europe, with American preference in terms of equipment, as may be the case, for example, in other countries such as Poland.

Leopard 2A7HU with Trophy
Lithuania intends to acquire around fifty Leopard 2A8s to form a tank battalion

Thus, Lithuania turned to the French CAESAR NG and German PZH 2000 to modernize its artillery. In terms of armor, Vilnius has chosen the German Boxer to form the backbone of its mechanized infantry, while there is talk that the country will acquire around fifty Leopard Leopard from Berlin in the coming months .

Lithuanian anti-aircraft defense, for its part, relies on two Norwegian NASAMS 3 batteries. In fact, in recent years, the only major equipment contract awarded by Vilnius to American companies concerns the acquisition of eight HIMARS systems, while no similar equipment exists to date in Europe.

In fact, it is difficult to accuse the Lithuanian minister, or her country, of biased lobbying when she supports this position, even if it is very likely that American lobbying is underlying this issue.

The specificities of the European Defense Fund of the European Union

However, the Lithuanian minister is aware that several countries, including France and Italy, will be particularly hostile to this initiative. Above all, she knows that the European Defense Fund was created by the European Union, and not by NATO, not to reduce the budgetary burden on states to equip their armies, but to increase industrial cooperation between Europeans, and thus homogenize equipment fleets.

The function of the European Defense Fund is to improve the functioning of the European Defense Industry by supporting innovation and the emergence of European programs.
The function of the European Defense Fund is to improve the functioning of the European Defense Industry by supporting innovation and the emergence of European programs.

So why this announcement which is sure to be vilified? The most likely answer is to be found in the weakness of European armies, more particularly those in Western Europe, and in their inability to effectively ensure the collective protection of NATO's borders.

LOGO meta defense 70 International technological cooperation Defense | Military alliances | UNITED STATES

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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  1. 1870/14-18/40-45 …etc.
    France has always lost wars and our weapons industry is struggling to increase its ammunition stocks and is shutting down its tank production lines.
    You don't change a team that... loses!!!

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