On November 21 the Defence Materiel Agency under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the US Department of Defence signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance concerning procurement of 200 units of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV). The document was signed at the Lithuanian MoD by Director of the Defence Materiel Agency under the MoD and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Army Jeffrey S. White.
Country’s MoD envisions that new tactical vehicles will strengthen the present capabilities of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, increase mobility, personnel protection and combat power. Lithuania is purchasing JLTVs from Oshkosh Defense via the US Government.
‘The combat support JLTV acquisition project which is implemented in cooperation with the United States Government, is one of the key elements in modernising and strengthening the Lithuanian Armed Forces and marks a qualitative leap in providing the Armed Forces with cutting-edge, combat-capable equipment. We are sending a strong signal to our allies with the procurement of these vehicles that Lithuania takes care and invests into its own and the Alliance’s security’, said Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis.
‘This project crowns the long-standing partnership on strengthening the technical support in Lithuania’s combat readiness. We will continue the cooperation in order to ensure the success of these new opportunities in the decades to come’, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius Marcus Micheli said.
The all-terrain vehicles for the Lithuanian Armed Forces will be manufactured by Oshkosh Defence in accordance with operational requirements formulated by the Lithuanian Armed Forces to meet its needs best concerning national defence and multinational deployments.
The new JLTVs will be equipped with turrets and 12.7mm M2 QCB machine-guns and dispatched among battalions of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade ‘Iron Wolf’ and the Motorised Infantry Brigade while prioritising the national rapid response forces. The first all-terrain vehicles are planned to be delivered to Lithuania in late 2021.
The Ministry of National Defence will allocate about EUR 145 million for the acquisition of JLTVs, equipment and weaponry complements, personnel training, spare parts, and sustainment in 2020-2024.
Lithuania seeks to get the most favourable conditions for JLTV procurement and sustainment through cooperation with the United States Government. Completing the procurement via the U.S. Government allows Lithuania to pay a significantly smaller price for the JLTVs because the US Government placed a large JLTV order in its own right.
The Defence Materiel Council of the Ministry of National Defence found the US-manufactured JLTVs to meet the price-performance ratio best in late 2017, and the negotiations with the US Government were opened on their procurement.
JLTVs are a significant part of the Lithuanian Armed Forces modernisation programme, also encompassing procurement of the Vilkas/Boxer infantry fighting vehicles and the PZH 2000 self-propelled artillery systems. The Lithuanian Armed Forces identified a shortage of armoured all-terrain vehicles taking into account potential threats and the need of such vehicles for completing national defence tasks and deploying to multinational operations.