NATO agency places $700 million order for Stinger anti-aircraft missiles

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian serviceman holds a Stinger anti-aircraft missile at a position in a front line in Mykolaiv region

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -NATO has placed an order for Stinger anti-aircraft missiles worth almost $700 million in the name of several member states, the alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday.

"Just today, the (NATO procurement agency) NSPA signed a new multinational contract for Stinger missiles worth almost $700 million," he told a gathering of defence industry leaders on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington.

The last contract for Stinger missiles, made by RTX's Raytheon division, was awarded in May 2022 when the U.S. Army contracted $625 million worth of the anti-aircraft missiles to replenish stocks sent to Ukraine. The shoulder-fired Stinger missiles have been in hot demand in Ukraine, where they have successfully stopped Russian assaults from the air, and in neighbouring European countries which fear they may also need to beat back Russian forces.

The NATO order for Stingers will keep the production line running through 2029, an RTX spokesman told Reuters.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Mike Stone; Editing by Mark Potter and Deepa Babington)