The contract is expected to be signed this summer.
The required information for the successive acquisition has been presented to OCCAR and consulted about with ARTEC. Now Vilnius is waiting for ARTEC to formulate the commercial offer to enter the next phase of negotiations, the Lithuanian defence ministry said in a statement.
“The decision to start the second stage of the IVF Vilkas acquisition was made taking into account military advice, market analysis, assessment of alternative platforms and maintenance costs. The supply available on the market and the needs of the Lithuanian Armed Forces have led us to keep to the Boxer platform,” commented Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas.
In 2016, Lithuania signed a contract for 88 Boxer infantry fighting vehicles. The contract was worth €385.6 million and it is being implemented under the supervision of the OCCAR.
According to the Lithuanian defence ministry, 60 of a total of 83 contracted Boxer vehicles have been already delivered to the Lithuanian Armed Forces. They are operated by Algirdas Infantry Battalion of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf.
The remaining 23 Boxer vehicles bought by Lithuania are due to be delivered in the comming months.
The Vilkas infantry fighting vehicles are produced by the German ARTEC consortium in line with the requirements of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The vehicles have Israeli-made remote weapon station turrets, U.S.-made 30 mm MK-44S cannons and Israeli Spike LR anti-tank missiles, as well as other integrated specialised equipment and electronic systems.
According to the Lithuanian defence ministry, the domestic industry will be incentivized to participate in IFV Vilkas development as well, as positions are currently being coordinated with Germany’s Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann on the extent and content of Lithuanian industrial involvement.
“The negotiations concern not only the contribution Lithuanian companies could make to Boxer production but also the opportunity for wider cooperation by entering the international supply chains of German manufacturers,” the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence said in a statement.