WARSAW, Poland — The Lithuanian Ministry of Defence has contacted the U.S. Defense Department regarding a potential acquisition of about 200 Oshkosh Defense L-ATV light tactical vehicles.
The acquisition is part of the ministry’s ongoing efforts to modernize the country’s land forces.
“We decided to recognize the L-ATV as the best armored vehicle that complies with the functionality and price criteria, and to start the negotiations on the acquisition of these vehicles for the Lithuanian military,” Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis said in a statement.
The potential acquisition was discussed by the Lithuanian minister and his U.S. counterpart, Jim Mattis, during a bilateral meeting on Nov. 7 in Helsinki, according to the statement.
Karoblis said the decision to pursue the vehicle procurement was recently approved by Lithuania’s Defence Resource Council. The value of the planned acquisition was not disclosed.
Under the plan, deliveries of the vehicles are scheduled to begin in 2021. The ministry says the procurement is considered as one of the most important parts of the program to upgrade the Lithuanian Land Forces, alongside the purchase of Vilkas infantry fighting vehicles.
This year, Vilnius allocated about €723.8 million (U.S. $838.6 million) to Lithuania’s defense budget, which represents an increase of 21 percent compared to 2016.