Washington on Tuesday approved Lithuania’s purchase of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs), which are also due to replace the iconic ‘Humvees’ in the US military.
Pentagon approved the sale of 500 vehicles, even though Lithuania only plans to buy 200. This comes as a “precaution if we decided to buy more, so that a new Congress application would not be necessary,” Vita Ramanauskaitė, spokeswoman for Lithuania’s defence minister.
Washington says the deal is valued at 170.8 million US dollars (154 million euros). Lithuania stated earlier it planned to spend 142 million euros on the purchase.
It’s the second-largest acquisition in the history of the Lithuanian military following the purchase of Boxer Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs). The armoured utility vehicles, manufactured by ‘Oshkosh Defense’, will be allocated to various army units.
The US launched its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) programme in 2006 to replace the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), known colloqually as the Humvees.
According to Lithuania’s Ministry of Defence, Lithuania now lacks armoured vehicles not only for national defence roles, but also for international operations due to the wear and tear of the existing fleet, and the need for more vehicles due to the ongoing military expansion.
The Lithuanian army now uses HMMWV, produced in Poland, and Toyota Land Cruiser 200 vehicles.