Lithuania partners with Rheinmetall to build 155mm ammunition plant

 16. 04. 2024      Category: Defense & Security

In a significant move to strengthen its military capabilities and support Ukraine, Lithuania has teamed up with German defense manufacturer Rheinmetall to construct a 155mm ammunition factory. This development, announced in Belfast, marks a pivotal step in Lithuania's defense strategy and its support for Ukraine amidst ongoing conflicts with Russia.

Picture: 155mm artillery ammo | Shutterstock

Strategic Enhancement of Defense Capabilities

Lithuania's decision to establish a 155mm ammunition factory in collaboration with Rheinmetall is driven by the need to fortify the defense capacities of Ukraine and the region. Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė emphasized the factory's strategic importance, noting its potential to bolster not just Lithuania but also Ukraine and the surrounding area. The factory is expected to provide critical relief to Ukraine, which currently faces an ammunition shortage against Russian forces.

Reducing Dependency on Long Supply Chains

The establishment of the factory is a strategic move to reduce dependency on extended and often vulnerable supply chains. Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Lithuania’s Minister of National Defense, highlighted the current challenges posed by reliance on long supply chains, which affect military readiness not only in the European Union but globally. By localizing ammunition production, Lithuania aims to secure a more reliable and long-term supply chain, enhancing its military readiness and support capabilities.

Accelerating Defense Projects

The Lithuanian government is keen on accelerating its defense projects. A recent proposal by Aušrinė Armonaitė, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation, aims to streamline processes involved in defense projects, cutting down the preparatory period from two and a half years to just six months. This expedited approach reflects Lithuania's urgent need to enhance its defense infrastructure in response to ongoing regional tensions.

Investment in Defense and Support for Ukraine

Lithuania has demonstrated its commitment to supporting Ukraine through substantial investments. In 2022, the country spent €84 million on various forms of assistance, including the delivery of 155mm ammunition and other military equipment. Furthermore, Lithuania’s parliament has approved an increase in defense spending to 3 percent of GDP by 2025, surpassing the NATO target of 2 percent.

Collaborative Efforts and Regional Impact

The collaboration with Rheinmetall is not Lithuania's first venture into enhancing its military capabilities. The establishment of Lithuania Defense Services in partnership with Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has already been providing logistical and technical support for NATO and Lithuanian forces. The new ammunition factory is set to expand this partnership, significantly enhancing the Baltic state's role in regional defense and security.


The establishment of a 155mm ammunition factory in Lithuania represents a crucial development in the Baltic region's defense landscape. By enhancing its own military capabilities and extending support to Ukraine, Lithuania is taking a proactive stance against regional threats. This initiative not only bolsters Lithuania’s defense infrastructure but also solidifies its position as a key player in ensuring the stability and security of Eastern Europe.

 Author: Lucas Kingsley