142 brand-new five-ton capacity Unimog U5000S trucks have been transferred to the Lithuanian Armed Forces. In total, 340 trucks of such a type have been handed over with the present shipment. The trucks from German manufacturer Daimler AG are acquired to keep the vehicle fleet in the Lithuanian Armed Forces updated and uniform. The new trucks will replace outdated UNIMOG vehicles, manufactured by Daimler AG as well. The new trucks will be delivered to the Lithuanian Land Force and supplement the fleet of the same basic technical characteristics that military personnel know well. Trucks are among the most used vehicles in the Lithuanian Armed Forces so their demand is very high.
The truck delivery has been made under the contract with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) on acquisition of 340 trucks, signed in 2015 and later extended and stands as an example of successful cooperation between the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence and he NSPA. “The NATO agency can amass the requests from across NATO and carry out a large-scale acquisition, as a result, the price per unit was considerably lowered,” Director of the Defence Materiel Agency under the Ministry of National Defence Sigitas Dzekunskas says. The value of the contract amounts to EUR 70 million, acquisition through the NSPA saved Lithuania EUR 18 million.
“These durable trucks have a good cross-country capacity and are used on both, paved and unpaved roads. The cross without significant trouble water obstacles up to 1200 mm, and off-road areas. These are really useful qualities in exercises, for transporting various logistical equipment to exercises sites that are hard to access,” Commander of the Depot Storage Service of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Lt Col Aurius Daškevičius says.
“We decided to renew the contract again with regard to the requirement and to buy another 42 Unimog U5000 trucks for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The shipment is planned to be made next year,” Director of the Defence Materiel Agency says. He also underscores that the requirement for trucks in the Lithuanian Armed Forces is clearly big, therefore acquisition of new 5–10 ton payload trucks is also planned for the future.
As the defence budget has been consistently increasing for several years, Lithuania prioritises modernisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and strengthening of its capabilities, which encompasses update of vehicle fleet. The Defence Materiel Agency signed a contract in the beginning of this year for procuring 25 special-purpose AROCS trucks for transportation of platforms and containers. Part of the trucks will be delivered to the Lithuanian Armed Forces by the end of the year, the other part will arrive next year. Eight Daimler AG ZETROS 3643 tractor trucks with flatbed trailers bought last year are successfully in service in the Lithuanian Armed Forces as well.