Lithuanian authorities decided to acquire a batch of Boxer wheeled APCs manufactured in Germany. The vehicles are going to be armed with 30 mm cannons and Spike ATGMs.
According to Delfi outlet, the Lithuanian authorities decided to acquire the German Boxer APC’s, within the scope of the tender, the aim of which is to procure next generation armoured vehicles. 88 APCs are going to be purchased in total, including four examples in the command vehicle variant. The whole acquisition is going to be covered with an amount of EUR 400 million.
The Lithuanian Boxers will be fitted with Israeli-made unmanned turrets with 30 mm cannons, machine guns and Spike ATGMs. The vehicles will be the best armed Boxer APCs in the world. The carriers, currently used operationally by the Bundeswehr and by the Dutch Army, are fitted only with 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine guns and 40 mm grenade launchers. German Army has received an offer to equip its Boxer vehicles with an armament package similar to the one used by the Lithuanian forces – 30 mm cannon coupled with the Spike ATGM.
Bundeswehr’s Boxers were involved in an exercise in Lithuania, organized within the framework of operations, the aim of which was to provide support for the NATO Eastern Flank. The element involved in the operation belonged to a German-French brigade. Another element of that unit was also involved in the Saber Strike 15 exercise, organized in Poland.
Acquisition of the Boxer vehicles is yet another procurement of armament realized by Vilnius this year, in collaboration with Germany. Lithuanian Army has also introduced the German PzH 2000 self propelled howitzers into their inventory. The systems come from the Bundeswehr’s equipment surplus. Procurement of the new infantry fighting vehicles is a part of modernization programme, the aim of which is to replace the obsolete US made M113 carriers. The initiative is being supported by OCCAR.
Lithuanians have also decided to increase the defence expenditure in 2016 by 35%, in comparison with this year – this would let them achieve a level of defence spending equivalent to 1.48% of the Lithuanian GDP. Additional funds are going to be probably used also to acquire the carriers. Moreover, Vilnius is also acquiring the Polish Grom MANPADS.
When it comes to acquisition of the wheeled infantry fighting vehicles, two additional intergovernmental offers were also placed, one by the Polish Government, offering the Rosomak APC, and one by the US Government, offering the Stryker vehicles. The aim of the tender above is to introduce infantry fighting vehicles into the inventory of the Lithuanian Army for the first time, since Lithuania regained its independence. Up until now, the Lithuanian Armed Forces have only been using the track-chassis M113 carriers.