Germany, 13 NATO allies aim to jointly procure air defence systems

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BRUSSELS, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Germany and 13 NATO allies on Thursday signed a letter of intent for the joint procurement of air defence systems in the category of systems such as Arrow 3 and Patriot .

The signing ceremony took place at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels. The participating countries are Germany, Britain, Slovakia, Norway, Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Czechia, Finland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovenia.

Finland is interested in the development of a European anti-aircraft defence system but would not take a very central role in it, Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen told reporters on Wednesday, after meeting with NATO peers in Brussels.

In September, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said in a Reuters interview that Berlin aimed to strike a deal with other NATO countries on the air defence system during the ongoing defence minister meeting in Brussels on Oct. 12-13.

Finland and neighbouring Sweden are applying for membership in the Western military alliance NATO and were invited to join the meeting as official applicants.

Turkey and Hungary remain the only two NATO member countries which have not yet ratified the Finnish and Swedish memberships.

PHOTO: A U.S. Army Patriot Missile Systems . (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea)

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