WARSAW, Poland — Lithuania’s defense minister has announced he is visiting Paris June 13-14 to sign a letter of intent with his French counterpart, under which Lithuania is to buy new-generation 155mm Caesar self-propelled howitzers.

“Leaving for Paris, where I will meet with the newly appointed French Minister of Defense, Sébastien Lecorn. We will discuss the strengthening of [the Lithuanian] Armed Forces capabilities. I will also sign the first letter of intent on purchasing French 155mm howitzers ‘Caesar’ for [Lithuania’s military],” Arvydas Anušauskas tweeted June 12.

The minister did not disclose the value of the planned purchase nor the number of howitzers Vilnius aims to acquire. Nexter Systems is developing the six-wheel drive, new-generation Caesar Mark II artillery system under a contract awarded in February by France’s military procurement agency, the Direction générale de l’armement.

The new weapons are to boost Lithuania’s artillery capacities, which currently rely on the country’s 155mm PzH 2000 howitzers. In 2015, the Baltic state’s military acquired 21 such secondhand weapons from the German military.

The Lithuanian government has decided to accelerate several planned purchases for its military, including a multiple launch rocket system, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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