WARSAW, Poland — Lithuania’s Defence Ministry has kicked off negotiations to purchase more than 120 Boxer infantry fighting vehicles, with a signed contract expected this summer.
Deliveries would take place between 2023 and 2024, the ministry said in a statement.
Deputy Defence Minister Vilius Semeška said the decision was made after Vilnius evaluated lessons larned from the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Lithuania borders Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave, and has provided Ukraine with weapons to support the country’s struggle against Russia’s invasion. The planned procurement could more than double the Lithuanian military’s modern fleet of infantry fighting vehicles.
“The decision to keep the same platform for infantry fighting vehicles is rational, and it will allow for an efficient use of the resources allocated to national defense,” Semeška said.
Lithuania is a member of the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation, or OCCAR, which supervises the supply of the Boxer vehicle to several European states, including Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K.
In 2016, Lithuania signed a deal for 88 infantry fighting vehicles with the German-Dutch consortium Artec, which is made up of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Rheinmetall Landsysteme and Rheinmetall Defence Nederland B.V. The contract was worth €385.6 million (U.S. $417.7 million).
The government did not disclose the value of this latest planned deal.
Lithuania ordered its Boxer vehicles in the Vilkas (Wolf) variant, which includes a Samson Mk II remote controlled weapon station, a Spike LR anti-tank missile system, a 7.62mm machine gun and a Bushmaster Mk44S 30mm chain gun, according to data from OCCAR. Delivery was initiated in 2019.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.