Officials from the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the German Defence Ministry on Wednesday signed a contract on the acquisition of 168 M577 carriers, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry said.
“The Lithuanian Armed Forces are buying command, indirect fire support, medical evacuation and training M577 armored personnel carriers in good technical condition that will fill in the shortages of armored vehicles in the Lithuanian Land Force,” Lieutenant Colonel Ramūnas Baronas, commander of the Logistic Support Command, said after putting his signature on the contract.
The vehicles are planned to be delivered to Lithuania in several phases in 2017 to 2018. The procurement also includes spare parts and maintenance tools, and equipment for the crew, the ministry said.
Since the Lithuanian Armed Forces operate M113 armored tracked vehicles, which are similar to the newly-procured carriers, the new vehicles will not need to be integrated anew. Units of the Land Force already have training programs, maintenance and repair manuals, as well as foreign-trained repair and operation instructors, it noted.
Lithuania has earlier decided to purchase Boxer infantry fighting vehicles and PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers from Germany.