Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified one of Switzerland’s modernization efforts. The country aims to modernize its air defense by 2030.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department cleared $700 million in a possible foreign military sale to Switzerland, along with other sales to Lithuania and Belgium, as the neutral European country works to modernize its air defense by 2030.
Switzerland now has approval to purchase up to 72 Raytheon Technologies-made Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles. The agreement also includes related launching technology as well as logistics and technical support, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
The missiles will improve Switzerland’s Patriot air defense system, which is used to defend the country’s territorial integrity, DSCA said in a statement Tuesday.
Switzerland has worked to revamp its air defense capabilities over the past few years. Since 2018, the government has set a goal of acquiring aircraft and ground-based missiles for more than $8 billion. The Patriot missiles were among the weapons on its short list.
Meanwhile, the State Department approved Lithuania and Belgium last week for $495 million and $380 million in possible foreign military sales, respectively.
Lithuania received the OK to acquire eight Lockheed Martin-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers, 36 Guided Multiple Rocket Launch System alternative warhead missile pods and other related logistical support. According to a DSCA statement on Nov. 9, the weapons will support the modernization of the Lithuania’s military and deter regional threats.
HIMARS and other systems like GMLRS have grown in notoriety since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. In October, the Pentagon announced it would soon deliver four more HIMARS to Ukraine, bringing the total number sent since the war began to 20. Other HIMAR units have also been dispatched along NATO’s eastern front. The U.S. Army in September announced two HIMARS were sent to Latvia.
Belgium was given the green light to purchase 120 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, 10 AMRAAM C-8 guidance sections and other logistical support. The country will use the missiles to maintain its F-16 and F-35 fleets at combat-ready status, the DSCA said in a Nov. 8 statement.
Zamone “Z” Perez is an editorial fellow at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa, where he helped produce podcasts. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched humanitarian intervention and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.