On August 17 the first Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) procured by the Lithuanian Armed Forces from the United States of America were unveiled publicly in Rukla, Lithuania. At the ceremony held at the Mechanized Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf Vice Minster of National Defence Margiris Abukevi?ius said that the acquisition was a particularly important step in the modernization of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The ceremony in Rukla was also attended by Ambassador of the United States to Lithuania HE Robert Gilchrist, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) BG Garrick Harmon, and representatives of the Lithuanian Armed Forces who, in their turn, assured the new JLTVs will significantly increase the Lithuanian Armed Forces capability.
The first JLTV shipment that has arrived in Lithuania includes 50 vehicles. The JLTVs were shipped from the U.S. to Germany by sea and then were brought to Lithuania by car carriers. The first JLTVs were assigned to the Lithuanian Armed Forces training units in Rukla and Kazlu Ruda and personnel training began. Several tens of drivers and 15 technical service personnel have already been fully trained. The JLTV is currently the most state-of-the-art light tactical vehicle with particularly advanced characteristics. According to the contract signed by the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania and the United States Government in 2019, 200 such vehicles will be procured for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The procured JLTVs, equipment, weapons, tools, and spares will be delivered in full by 2024.
“I am really happy to be here on this occasion, presenting in Lithuania the purchased JLTVs. This is an important step towards in the modernization of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. We are very happy about our increasing military cooperation with the U.S., while this project really contributes and shows our willingness and action in protecting the NATO eastern flank. The JLTVs are technologically advanced all-terrain vehicles with a high personnel protection. They will increase the current safety level of our troops and our efficiency in surveillance, artillery and air support tasks. This new capability has been manufactured according to the Lithuanian Armed Forces requirements and it will enhance our capacity to perform national defence tasks, to perform tasks in international operations, and last but not least,” Vice Minister M. Abukevi?ius said.
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) are made by Oshkosh Defense, the manufacturer of choice of the U.S. Government. The new vehicles will be dedicated to the battalions of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Iron Wolf and Griffin Brigades, with a priority on the national rapid response force. The JLTVs acquisition by the Lithuanian Armed Forces is a part of the Lithuanian Armed Forces modernization programme which also includes procurement of the Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles and PZH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. The JLTVs will supplement and update the ATV fleet in the Lithuanian Armed Forces that currently was made up by HMMWVs (‘Hammers’). The all-terrain JLTVs will have mounted turrets and M2 QCB 12.7mm machine guns. The contract between Lithuania and the U.S. covers the JLTC platform equipment, weaponry, personnel training, spares and maintenance, transportation, and equipment assembly.