Vice Minister of National Defence G. Jeglinskas discussed procurement of armoured tactical vehicles for the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Washington
The Ministry of National Defence submitted procurement applications to the Government of the United States of America concerning acquisition and maintenance of 200 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Vice Minister of National Defence Giedrimas Jeglinskas put that across in Washington at a meeting with Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord at the U.S Department of Defence on February 22.
“Lithuania cooperates with the U.S. Government seeking to secure the most effective conditions of JLTV procurement and maintenance. The combat support vehicles will increase the mobility of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, protection of personnel, and combat power,” Vice Minister G. Jeglinskas said.
According to Vice Minister, terms and conditions of the JLTV procurement contract are expected to be finalised with the U.S. Government by 2020. The Ministry of National Defence is planned to allot roughly EUR 142 million in 2020-2023 for procuring and maintaining the vehicles.
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.
At the meeting with U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord Vice Minister G. Jeglinskas also discussed the recent growth of the Lithuanian Armed Forces’ procurement from the U.S. and further cooperation of the two countries in the area.
Vice Minister G. Jeglinskas also paid a visit to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Headquarters to discuss the over 20 years of successful cooperation with the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Vice Minister also visited the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis where he met with its leadership and cadets. While in Washington, he met with analysts of the Atlantic Council and RAND scientific centres, leadership of the U.S. Navy, and U.S. Congress officials.
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.