NATO inks USD700M contract to produce additional Stinger missiles


(MENAFN) At the NATO summit in Washington, significant steps are being taken to enhance defense capabilities, including a nearly USD700 million contract signed for member countries to produce additional Stinger missiles. Outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced this contract during an industry day organized by the Chamber of Commerce, emphasizing the importance of bolstering each member's defense manufacturing capabilities as a crucial deterrent against potential future threats.

Stoltenberg underscored that a robust defense industry is essential for maintaining strong defense capabilities across the alliance. The Stinger missile system, produced by Raytheon, is a portable surface-to-air defense system capable of being deployed by troops or mounted on vehicles to provide short-range defense against aircraft. Notably, it was among the first weapons sent by the U.S. to Ukraine following Russia's invasion in 2022, highlighting its strategic importance and effectiveness.

Against a backdrop of geopolitical uncertainty, including delays in U.S. support to Ukraine and upcoming presidential elections, discussions at the NATO summit have also touched on broader alliance commitments. There have been concerns raised, particularly by U.S. political figures such as presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, regarding NATO member countries' defense spending obligations. Trump has suggested that countries failing to meet the 2 percent of GDP defense spending target could face diminished U.S. support in times of crisis.

Currently, 23 out of NATO's 32 member countries are expected to meet the 2 percent GDP defense spending commitment this year, a significant increase from just six countries prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This uptick underscores NATO's collective efforts to strengthen defense readiness and solidarity in response to evolving security challenges in Europe and beyond. The ongoing summit aims to reinforce these commitments and strategies to ensure NATO's capability to address diverse security threats effectively.

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