Lithuanian army Vilkas IFVs receive last Spike LR missiles


The last shipment of Spike LR anti-tank missiles for the Lithuanian Armed Forces Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles was delivered to Lithuania at the end of June. The Spike LR anti-tank missile acquisition contract was completed and implemented by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) through cooperation with the OCCAR international organisation that executed the project.
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Vilkas IFV of the Lithuanian army (Picture source: Lithuanian MoD)


The Vilkas IFV is a variant of the Boxer armored fighting vehicle developed by German manufacturer Artec according to the requirements of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The vehicles are equipped with an Israeli-made turret, a U.S.-made Mk.44S 30mm chain gun, and Israeli Spike LR anti-tank missiles, on top of other specialized equipment and electronic systems.

Lithuania is a member of the NSPA Boxer maintenance and supply programme: its ensures a proper logistical provision for the Lithuanian Armed Forces’ Vilkas IFVs – access to collective stocks of IFV spares and central warehouses, main equipment maintenance capabilities, technical and engineer support, etc., in the IFV exploitation.

According to the EUR 385.6 million contract signed in 2016 by the IFV manufacturer Artec and the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), all 88 Vilkas IFVs purchased by Lithuania will be delivered to the Lithuanian Armed Forces by late 2021. Serial production of the fighting vehicles for the Lithuanian armed forces started after a year of intense testing in training areas and testing centers of Germany and the Netherlands.

The Vilkas IFVs are designated for the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanized and the Grand Duchess Birutė Ulan Battalions.

Vilkas, the Lithuanian name for the Boxer

Artec GmbH is a consortium formed by Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH (RMMV), and Netherlands’s Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Nederland B.V. Overall. Rheinmetall has a 64% stake in the joint venture. The Boxer program is managed by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), a European intergovernmental organization. Lithuania, together with the Netherlands and Germany, is a part of the IFV Boxer Supply and Maintenance Program of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA). It ensures an appropriate logistical provision of the infantry fighting vehicles with the possibility to use common IFV spare parts and central depots and repair capabilities for the main systems, to receive technical and engineer support, etc., when the IFVs are operated by the Lithuanian armed forces. In order to keep the link with the history of Lithuania and traditions of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, it was agreed by the IFV manufacturer and Lithuania that the IFVs produced according to Lithuania’s requirements would be called “Vilkas” instead of “Boxer”.


 

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