WARSAW, Poland — The Lithuanian government has decided to accelerate its planned purchase of a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) amid Russia’s military buildup on its border with Ukraine.

The decision to buy the system in 2026, two years earlier than Vilnius previously planned, was taken by the State Defence Council, a body that comprises Lithuania’s president, prime minister, defense minister, parliament speaker, and the chief of defense.

“The State Defence Council agrees that, in the face of current security threats, the Lithuanian Army needs [an] increased number of conscripts [and a] further deployment of capabilities. We intend to engage in a joint development of [a] regional interoperable Multiple Launch Rocket System capability,” Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas said in a tweet.

Local observers say the ministry plans to order Lockheed Martin’s M270 MLRS.

Last December, Anušauskas and his two counterparts, Estonia’s Defense Minister Kalle Laanet and Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks, agreed that the three Baltic states will all acquire MLRS for their respective militaries.

Estonia’s National Defence Development Plan until 2031 foresees the acquisition of the weapon to increase the country’s “capability to influence the enemy with indirect fire from a distance.” Estonian military officials have said the weapons could be ordered this year.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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