Lithuania to purchase 200 Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicles

Lithuania is to purchase 200 Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, the defense ministry said, a day after the U.S. State Department approved the sale of 500 vehicles.

The U.S. State Department approved the sale to Lithuania of 500 JLTVs and support at an estimated cost of $170.8 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a Tuesday, August 27 release.

The proposed sale includes 500 of the M1278A1 Heavy Guns Carrier variant, M153 Common Remote Weapon Stations (CROWS), Mk-93 weapons mounts, M2 QCB .50 calibre machine guns, and the M230 TacFLIR long-range high-resolution thermal camera.

For protection, ballistic and explosive formed protection kit and Raytheon’s Boomerang III small arms shot-detection system are included, the release said, along with a range of other equipment, engineering, training, services and support.

However, Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defence said in a Wednesday release that, although the sale of 500 JLTVs had been approved, the country only has plans to buy 200.

“A larger number of JLTVs is foreseen in case if Lithuania decides to purchase more for the needs of its Armed Forces,” the release said.

The defense ministry plans to allocate around  €142 million ($157 million) for the acquisition and maintenance of JLTVs between 2020 and 2024.

“We are moving to bilateral contract coordination. We intend to sign it before the end of this year,” Vice-Minister of the Ministry of National Defence Giedrimas Jeglinskas said.

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program which began in 2006 as a shared effort between the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command to part-replace the ubiquitous Humvee with a family of better-protected vehicles with greater payload. It is designed to have the side and underbody protection of a basic Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles but with better mobility and speed.

The Oshkosh Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) was selected in August 2015 and the company was awarded an initial production contract for almost 17,000 JLTVs. The U.S. Army approved full-rate production in June. The program is estimated to be worth $30 billion through 2024, Defense News reported.

The JLTV family of vehicles currently has two seat and four seat variants, as well as a companion trailer (JLTV-T). The two seat variant has a single vehicle platform – the M1279 Utility (JLTV-UTL) – while the four-seat variant has two base vehicle platforms, the M1280 General Purpose (JLTV-GP) and the M1281 Close Combat Weapons Carrier (JLTV-CCWC). The M1278 Heavy Guns Carrier is based on the General Purpose platform.

The first foreign sale of JLTV was signed in November 2018 with Slovenia, a government-to-government agreement for the procurement of 38 vehicles.

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