On April 19 Vice Minister of National Defence Vilius Semeška and his delegation met with representatives of the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), ARTEC consortium, and Krauss-Maffei Weggman and Rheinmatall companies in Munich to discuss further prospects of supplying Lithuania with the Boxer Infantry Fighting Vehicles. Part of them will be armed with a 30 mm cannon, and the other part – with a 12.7 mm machine guns. The Lithuanian Armed Forces will be reinforced with over 120 additional Infantry Fighting Vehicles of Boxer type. If the contract is signed, the delivery of new batch of the Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles will start in late 2023 – early 2024.
“Preparation for the negotiations began early this year and today we are able to discuss concrete amounts, value and deadlines of a potential order. It is a rational decision, and effective in terms of defence budget, to carry on with the same infantry fighting vehicle platform,” says V. Semeška. It has been made taking into account the lessons from the war against Ukraine as well.
The Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicle derivative already in service with the Lithuanian Armed Forces are equipped with Israeli-made turrets, U.S.-made 30 mm MK-44S cannons and Israeli-made anti-armor Spike LR missiles, as well as with other specialized equipment and electronic systems. In 2016, Lithuania joined the Programme with a contract to buy 91 BOXER vehicles via OCCAR in five different variants on the basis of the DE vehicle design. The first vehicles were delivered in 2019, with production running until 2021.
Lithuania is an OCCAR member. OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement / Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) is an organization that manages and implements procurements, represents member states in negotiations with manufacturers and later on, during the armament production. It supervises Boxer armored vehicle acquisitions for Lithuania, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. OCCAR also the manager of such procurement projects as A400M, COBRA and TIGER.