The Lithuanian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 18 July that the country’s first two Boxer infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) prototypes have entered trials in Germany under the leadership of the Artec industrial consortium between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW).
The MoD stated that the main goal of the trials is to identify any weaknesses or defects in the vehicles, which it considers integral to Lithuania’s military modernisation.
The trials will test the electronic and mechanical elements of the Boxer to the maximum possible levels to assist in the identification of any deficiencies and allow for adjustments before full-scale production begins.
Members of the Lithuanian armed forces will take part in the trials, providing them with the opportunity to gain experience in the operation of the vehicles. Prior to this, the Lithuanian forces only had access to driver training variants.
The project manager, Lithuanian Army Major Nerijus Šivickas, said, “Compared to last year's driver training vehicles, these combat vehicle prototypes are much more complex, [and] they have more and different equipment.”
Once the trials are completed, the vehicles will be returned to factory conditions and delivered to the Lithuanian Army in early 2019, provided no adjustments are required.
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