The six member states of the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) have given approval for Lithuania to join its Boxer Programme.
The decision is seen as a key step for Lithuania as it acquires Boxer infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) for two of its land force battalions.
Upon joining the programme, Lithuania will empower OCCAR to negotiate the procurement on its behalf.
The country will also authorise OCCAR to evaluate the contract, supervise the project’s execution, and provide an expert quality assessment for the procured IFVs.
Lithuania will benefit from enhanced interoperability with other participants of the programme, as well as reduced development and maintenance costs.
The Boxer APC can carry up to ten soldiers when configured as a squad transport vehicle.
The vehicles’ spaced and sloped armour protects against mines, IEDs, and ballistic threats.
The APC also features a FLW 200 remote-controlled light weapon station, which is installed with a 12.7mm heavy machine-gun or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
The vehicle also supports infantryman of the future (IdZ) technology developed for the German Army.
It offers a top speed of 103km/h, a class-leading range of 1,050km, and extreme mobility, as well as self-defence weaponry and a heavy payload capacity.
In December, the Lithuanian government approved 88 Boxer armoured fighting vehicles in a deal worth up to $439m with German manufacturer Artec.
Delivery under the contract is expected to commence in early 2017.