The European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence (MoD) have commissioned ARTEC, a joint venture between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall, to supply 88 BOXER armoured vehicles to the Lithuanian army starting in 2017. Worth a total of around €390 million, this important export order is set to run to 2021.

On 11 December 2015, ARTEC has been declared preferred bidder by the Lithuanian State Defence Council for the Lithuanian Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) programme. From 2017 to 2020 in total 88 vehicles with a medium calibre (30mm) remote-controlled turret are requested by the Lithuanian Army. ARTEC, will deliver the vehicles, extending the BOXER family by an IFV variant. Production will be carried out by ARTEC's two parent companies. 53 vehicles will be manufactured by KMW and 35 by Rheinmetall.

The Lithuanian BOXER will be fitted with Rafael’s SAMSON Mk II dual-axis, gyro-stabilised, dual-sight (Gunner and Commander) remote-controlled weapon system, armed with a 30mm automatic cannon and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, also armed with SPIKE LR anti-tank guided missile launcher, carrying two missiles and eight smoke grenade launchers on each station. This will provide the Lithuanian Armed Forces improved lethality, increased mission flexibility in both urban and open terrain scenarios, with maximum survivability for the crew and vehicle.

Among other factors, positive tactical outcomes and the compelling results of Lithuanian field trials strongly influenced the Baltic nation’s decision to choose the BOXER. The Lithuanian military will call the vehicle the VILKAS (Wolf).

The German Armed Forces already have more than 400 BOXER vehicles in different variants in use or in the procurement process, and the Netherlands (NL) Armed Forces have 200 vehicles. Together with the Lithuanian vehicles, just short of 700 vehicles therefore have been contracted by three user nations.

Earlier this year, on 8 March 2016, the first BOXER Cargo Version has been delivered to the NL Army. The Cargo version is the fourth out of five BOXER versions for the NL Army. So far the Driver Training Vehicle, the Ambulance and the Command Post version have been delivered. Deliveries will last until 2018.

VILKAS prototype, as seen in June 2016. (Photo: ARTEC)

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