The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence has begun negotiations on the potential purchase of more than 120 additional Boxer infantry fighting vehicles.
Vice Minister of National Defence Vilius Semeška met with representatives of German defense firms Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall on Tuesday to discuss further details of the acquisition plan.
He revealed that the entities involved in the meeting were able to discuss concrete amounts, value, and deadlines of the potential order.
“Preparation for the negotiations began early this year,” Semeška said in a press release. “It is a rational decision, and effective in terms of defence budget, to carry on with the same infantry fighting vehicle platform.”
The contract for the new batch of Vilkas (Wolf) variant Boxers is expected to be awarded this summer.
Once the contract is signed, delivery will begin in late 2023 or early 2024.
Considering Russia-Ukraine War
Semeška explained that Lithuania’s decision to acquire more military vehicles has been made taking into account the lessons learned from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Lithuania has denounced the so-called “special military operation” launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Earlier this month, Lithuanian Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys announced that the country has already started training Ukrainian troops on anti-tank weapon systems.
With consideration of the Russia-Ukraine war, Lithuania wants to arm the Boxer vehicles it will receive with 30-millimeter cannons and 12.7-millimeter machine guns.
If the plan pushes through, the country could more than double its fleet of infantry fighting vehicles.
The Boxer Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The Boxer is an 8×8 multi-role armored vehicle designed with a modular structure to provide maximum flexibility for various military missions.
The vehicle’s weapon station is reconfigurable to suit the specific requirements of various armed forces. In Germany, the Boxer is armed with the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Type 1530 Gun Mount and a 40-millimeter automatic grenade launcher.
Additionally, the Boxer’s thermal acoustic and radar signature management capability provide low electronic visibility, an added advantage during covert missions.
Lithuania currently operates 80 Boxer infantry fighting vehicles equipped with Israeli-made turrets, US-made 30-millimeter MK-44S cannons, and anti-armor Spike LR missiles.