Boxer Infantry Fighting Vehicles For Lithuania's Iron Wolves

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In addition to Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 armoured artillery, Lithuania is acquiring 88 Boxer wheeled armored infantry fighting vehicles (AIFVs) for its Iron Wolves Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

The €385.6 million order was signed Aug. 22 at the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense in Vilnius through the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), which has contracted Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann joint venture ARTEC to supply the vehicles in 2017-2021.

Named Vilkas, which means 'wolf' in Lithuanian, the vehicles will have Rafael Samson Mk II remote weapon stations with 30 mm automatic cannon and Spike LR anti-tank missiles worth a further €4.38 million. They will equip the Iron Wolves' Grand Duke Algirdas and Grand Duchess Birute Uhlan battalions.

Lithuanian defense chief Lt.Gen. Jonas Vytautas Žukas said the Vilkas will be capable of destroying armored and non-armored targets at a range of up to four kilometers and promote interoperability between Lithuania and its allies. Germany and the Netherlands are also equipped with Boxers.

With a top speed over 100 kilometers an hour, the Vilkas will be faster than Estonia's 70-kilometer-per-hour CV9035NL tracked AIFVs. Estonia is also acquiring Javelin anti-tank missile systems under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.

The Baltic states are acquiring heavier defensive equipment in the face of a more assertive Russia.

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