Rheinmetall & Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) have established a Joint Venture (JV) in Lithuania for providing logistic support for combat vehicles of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. This is in addition to those of other NATO nations stationed in the Baltic States. The idea is to take advantage of synergy effects and to promote multinational interoperability between the armed forces and defence sectors of NATO member states, Rheinmetall writes in a press release. Known as Lithuania Defense Services, the company started operations in Jonava in May 2022. The two partners each hold a 50 per cent stake in the JV. Sebastian Dietz has been named managing director.
The maintenance and logistics centre in Jonava occupies a roughly 12,000-square-metre site. Strategically located near Rukla, Lithuania’s largest military base and home to the NATO Battlegroup Lithuania, it has a direct rail link.
One of the company’s main tasks will be to look after the VILKAS, Lithuania’s version of the multipurpose BOXER 8×8. According to Rheinmetall, it is also to maintain other combat vehicles of the Baltic States and NATO forces deployed in the region during Enhanced Forward Presence rotations. These include:
- other BOXER systems,
- the PUMA IFV
- the BÜFFEL/BUFFALO armoured recovery vehicle
- various versions of the LEOPARD 2 MBT
- the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer