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Lithuania increases land force capability with 500 JLTVs from US.

| Defense News Army 2024

On December 30, 2023, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense announced on its Twitter account the arrival of 50 new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) in Lithuania. This delivery fulfills a 2019 contract with the United States Government for a total of 200 JLTVs. This initial arrival marks a crucial milestone in Lithuania's ongoing efforts to modernize its defense capabilities.
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US 4x4 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles delivered to the Lithuanian Army (Picture source: Lithuanian MoD)

Additionally, Lithuania has reinforced its commitment to enhancing its ground defense capabilities by signing a second contract with the United States in 2022. This agreement schedules the delivery of an additional 300 JLTVs starting next year, bringing the total number of vehicles to an impressive 500. The acquisition of these JLTVs reflects Lithuania’s strategic initiative to strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe amidst a tense geopolitical climate.

The transaction involving the sale of five hundred Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) to Lithuania, including support services, is estimated to cost $170.8 million.

The JLTV is renowned for its robust design and advanced protective features, representing a significant enhancement to the Lithuanian military's vehicle fleet. Weighing 6,400 kg when empty and capable of reaching speeds of up to 120 km/h, the JLTV is not just a transport vehicle but also a formidable asset in combat scenarios. It can be equipped with either a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun, providing substantial firepower.

A key aspect of the JLTV is its advanced armor solutions, offering protection against small arms fire, IED blasts, and artillery shell splinters. The vehicle's protective capabilities are further enhanced by its classification as a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, designed specifically to withstand IED attacks and ambushes. This feature is a response to the threats faced in conflicts such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The JLTV boasts features including mine blast-resistant seats, an automatic fire suppression system, heating, air conditioning, a Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) protection system, and an adaptable suspension. These specifications ensure the safety and comfort of the crew, which can comprise up to four members. With dimensions of 6.2 m in length, 2.5 m in width, and 2.6 m in height, and a range of 480 km, the JLTV is ideal for a variety of military operations.

Currently in use by several countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and the United States, the JLTV is a testament to international cooperation in defense technology. Lithuania's decision to acquire these vehicles underscores its determination to modernize its armed forces and secure its position as a key player in regional stability.

As Lithuania navigates the challenges of an evolving international security landscape, the acquisition of the JLTVs is a clear indicator of the country's commitment to maintaining a strong, well-equipped military force. This move is not only about enhancing military capabilities but also about sending a strong message of commitment to national and regional security.


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