“With the U.S. Government lighting the green light for Lithuania to acquire 200 armored Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV), we are moving to bilateral contract coordination. We intend to sign it before the end of this year,” says Vice-Minister of the Ministry of National Defence Giedrimas Jeglinskas.
The U.S. Government has given permission to Lithuania to buy 500 JLTVs, but Lithuania plans to buy 200. A larger number of JLTVs is foreseen in case if Lithuania decides to purchase more for the needs of its Armed Forces.
The Ministry of National Defence as early as February this year had submitted procurement applications to the Government of the United States of America concerning acquisition and maintenance of 200 JLTVs for the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
These armored tactical vehicles will increase the mobility, security and combat power of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The Ministry of National Defence in 2020-2024 plans to allocate about $ 142 million euros for the acquisition and maintenance of JLTVs.
The Defence Materiel Council of the Ministry of National Defence found the U.S.-manufactured JLTVs to meet the price-performance ratio best in late 2017, and the negotiations on their procurement were opened with the U.S. Government. The JLTVs will augment and upgrade the car fleet of the corresponding type the Lithuanian Armed Forces and will be distributed among its units.
The JLTVs are a significant part of the Lithuanian Armed Forces mechanisation programme, also encompassing procurement of the Vilkas/Boxer infantry fighting vehicles. 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. The shortage is a result of natural wear and tear of the present fleet and also because the need increases due to the expanding Armed Forces.
Currently the Lithuanian Armed Forces uses HMMWV and Toyota Land Cruiser 200 armoured all-terrain vehicles.
The United States is Lithuania’s strategic partner and key ally for the security of the Baltic region. The U.S. actively participates in the implementation of the Assurance Measures in the Baltic states thus strengthening security and stability in the region. The country contributes soldiers, equipment and finance to the defence of our region.
According to the European Deterrence Initiative, the financial support for strengthening defensive capabilities and improving military infrastructure of European countries, including Lithuania, is consistently increased by one third every year. The U.S. is also among the main partners in weaponry procurement. Lithuania is acquiring anti-aircraft missiles, turrets for combat vehicles, Javelin anti-tank systems, and other equipment from U.S. manufacturers, aside from the JLTVs.