Lithuania's Air Navigation considers what to do with Russian radar equipment after probe (Updated)
Russian-made radar equipment that is used by Lithuania's state-owned air navigation service provider Oro Navigacija (Air Navigation) is not compatible with Lithuania's national security interests, the parliament's Committee on National Security and Defense (NSGK) has said after completing its probe into business groups' influence on political processes.
According to the committee, contacts between the former management of Oro Navigacija and Russia's Severny Zavod possibly had an impact on decisions to install the Russian manufacturer's Ural radars at the airports of Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga.
Oro Navigacija Director Mindaugas Gustys says that the company is currently considering what to do with the radars.
"We are now analyzing certain replacement options," he told BNS on Thursday, but did not elaborate.
Gustys told the Seimas committee in April that the company was considering whether to purchase services from the former supplier, the Finnish-registered, British-owned NRPL, or try to replace the radar equipment.
The director says that the company does not rule out purchasing services from Finland's NRPL, which was earlier owned by Russian nationals.
"There are certain authorities in the country that assess these company reliability risks. We are waiting for an assessment," Gustys told BNS on Thursday. He did not say when the results might be known.
According to Oro Navigacija, one radar costs 3 million to 5 million euros. The equipment would need to be replaced at all three airports.
"According to preliminary market research, a new primary radar costs about 3 million euros and a primary radar plus a secondary radar cost about 5 million euros. There are about 10 well-known suppliers of this equipment in the world, including three to four in Europe," the company told BNS.
It says that it could take around two years to replace the radars. The equipment of the Gdansk airport in Poland and the Cirava and Riga airports in Latvia would be additionally used to ensure the safety of flights.
Oro Navigacija back in 2004 launched a public procurement procedure to purchase radar equipment and Spain's Indra Sistemas was named the winning bidder. NRPL, Indra Sistemas' partner in the project, supplied and installed the Ural primary airspace surveillance radars, and provided maintenance services until 2017.