Taking lessons from Ukraine’s need, under siege by Russian aggression, for industrial efficiency in the repair and service of military combat vehicles, Lithuania, on 5 October, opened the Baltic region’s largest infantry fighting vehicle workshop, stretching over 4,500 square metres.
The €12m ($12.6m) facility has bays for the maintenance of 22 vehicles, including eight ‘Vilkas’ Boxer multi-role armoured vehicle, six trucks, four tracked vehicles and another four all terrain vehicles. A statement from the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence (MoD) describes the workshops as “ready to maintain and repair all types of military equipment used in the Kingdom of Lithuania.”
The new workshop is designed to solve all of the needs of military equipment repair ‘under one roof’, from technical inspection and cleaning to complex metal cutting and bending. It is equipped with a unique system of reservoirs to pipe lubricants and coolant directly to vehicles under repair, saving time and ensuring effective monitoring of reserves. All of the equipment maintenance systems are connected to a common network to enhance fleet efficiency.
Lithuania’s military modernisation
“While accelerating new acquisitions of military equipment, we must also take care of a modern maintenance and service systems for such equipment. This workshop is an example of a complex approach to repair and servicing of equipment,” said Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anušauskas.
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“Such opportunities – to organise the equipment of the Lithuanian army under one roof – contribute to the strengthening of the Lithuanian army in the same way as the acquisition of infantry fighting vehicles or other military equipment that strengthens the country’s defence capabilities. We aim for the Lithuanian army to have not one but several such workshops.”
Lithuania’s defence spending has doubled in the last three years, amounting to €2bn in 2023, 2.76% of its GDP, according to a release from the Lithuanian MoD. The rise in investment has sped up a military modernisation programme and seen 10% of the military budget channeled into strengthened infrastructure development for the Lithuanian army.
Army infrastructure getting critical attention
More than half of the funding allocated to Lithuania’s national defence system has been spent domestically – such as with Lithuanian company UAB, responsible for the construction of the newly opened workshop – and with a large share apportioned to the building of barracks and warehouses, as well as building roads and military ranges for army units.
“The workshop opened today is an extremely important element of the provision of the army,” said Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė. The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of the workshop, and highlighted the location of the site, Rukla, as an important point on Lithuania’s defence map.
“It is not only important that we ourselves strengthen our army, buy new weapons, equipment, and trust our partners who are willing to strengthen and expand their activities here,” said Šimonytė. “It’s also very important that everything that helps our military run like clockwork, everything that makes sure that what we acquire, what we have, works or will work like clockwork if needed.”