Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas has announced that the country will order more than 100 additional BOXER vehicles, radio and television station Lietuvos radijas ir televizijaen (LRT) has reported.
The minister said that Lithuania intended to equip another two battalions with protected wheeled vehicles. “The infantry fighting vehicles of the second procurement phase will be a little different from the current ones, as we have to take into account the lessons we learned during the war in Ukraine”, Anušauskas stated.
Lithuania had ordered 88 BOXERs (Lithuanian designation VILKAS) in the infantry combat vehicle version with a 30mm machine gun and SPIKE missile launcher through OCCAR in 2016. Deliveries began in 2019, but could not be completed so far due to technical failures. In December 2021, Anušauskas said that he expected the final deliveries to be made by December 2022. No information was made available regarding the number of vehicles delivered so far.
Modernisation by Lithuania
Earlier this month, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry announced that until 2027, it intended to spend more than €1Bn on defence equipment procurements from the USA and Germany in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is to continue the modernisation of equipment and strengthening the capabilities of the armed forces in all areas.
The BOXER and the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer were announced as equipment items to be procured from Germany. In March 2022, Lithuania had received the last of 16 howitzers. In addition, 10-tonne trucks are to be procured.
Systems to be procured from the USA include:
- combat drone systems
- JAVELIN anti-tank systems
- new radars
- four UH-60M multi-purpose helicopters
- all-terrain armoured vehicles
As far as export records for the BOXER are concerned, the order from Lithuania constitutes the continuation of a success story. A week before, the UK ordered 100 BOXERs, bringing its total fleet to 623 and making the UK the largest BOXER user. Germany has 403 BOXERs in service and plans to procure about 100 BOXER-based heavy weapon carriers and 18 vehicles of this kind for long-range weapons fire control (JFSTsw). Lithuania, with 200 BOXERs on order, catches up with the Netherlands with 200 Boxers and Australia with 211 vehicles on order.