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Lithuania buys 168 M577 command vehicles from Germany

06 December 2016

Lithuania will receive 168 more M577 armoured vehicles from Germany, after a deal was signed for them on 30 November.

Lithuania has agreed to purchase 168 former German Army M577 command post vehicles (Lithuanian MoD)Lithuania has agreed to purchase 168 former German Army M577 command post vehicles (Lithuanian MoD)

Speaking after signing the deal, the commander of Lithuania's Logistic Support Command, Lieutenant Colonel Ramunas Baronas, said, "The Lithuanian Armed Forces is buying command, indirect fire support, medical evacuation, and training M577 armoured personnel carriers in good technical condition that will fill in the shortages of armoured vehicles in the Lithuanian Land Force."

The M577 is a variant of the M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) that has a raised rear roof to allow it to fill command post, artillery support, and other roles. As part of the country's purchase of ex-German PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers, Lithuania already had 26 M577s on order.

According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence (MoD), the vehicles will be delivered in a series of phases between 2017 and 2018. The total value of the transfer is just EUR1.6 million (USD1.72 million) and includes spare parts, maintenance tools, and crew equipment, the MoD said.

Lithuania currently operates around 200 M113 APCs, which are also former German Army stock - 440 were transferred to Lithuania from Germany between 2000 and 2006. Although a US-design, Germany's M113/M577s were built in Kassel by Henschel Wehrtechnik (now Rheinmetall Landsysteme).

Speaking to IHS Jane's on 5 December, a spokesperson for the Lithuanian MoD said that the country was planning to divide the M577s across all of its battalions, training, and logistics units of its regular forces. The spokesperson added that the M577s had been delivered in the following variants: command and control, artillery fire control, mortar fire control, training, and ambulance. Lithuania currently lacks a dedicated armoured vehicle to fulfil most of these roles.

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