In the months ahead of Russia’s joint military exercises with Belarus this autumn — the largest such exercise in years — NATO has deployed units throughout the Baltics and Eastern Europe, and Lithuania has gone so far as to call for a permanent US troop presence there.
Now, in what appears to be a first among Western militaries, Norway is publicly discussing ways to counter Moscow’s latest advancement in armored warfare.
Oslo plans to spend $23.7 million to $41.5 million between 2017 and 2025 to replace its Javelin anti-tank guided weapon systems in an effort to “maintain the capacity to fight against heavy armored vehicles,” according to a document from the Norwegian Ministry of Defense.
Norway’s focus on anti-armor abilities is probably a response to Russia’s investment in active-protection systems for its tanks and armored vehicles, according to retired Brig. Ben Barry, senior fellow for land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.