Lithuania increases defence spending

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The Lithuanian Army's most important projects include equipping units declared to NATO and the army's rapid reaction force with IFVs. Seen here is a Lithuanian Boxer armoured vehicle. (Lithuanian MND/ARTEC)

The Lithuanian government presented a draft state budget for 2022, increasing national defence spending to EUR1.176 billion (USD1.367 billion), the Ministry of National Defence (MND) announced on its website on 12 October.

Finance Minister Gintarė Skaistė told a press conference the day before that this would raise defence spending from 2.03% in 2021 to 2.05% in 2022, Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT) reported on its website on 11 October. She added that Lithuanian political parties support the gradual increase of defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.


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Australia orders Boxers to export to Germany

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Australia ordered over 100 sWaTrg Inf heavy weapon carrier infantry vehicles from Rheinmetall on 10 April. (Rheinmetall)

The Australian government signed a production agreement with Rheinmetall Defence Australia on 10 April for over 100 Boxer Schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie (sWaTrg Inf) heavy weapon carrier infantry vehicles to export to Germany. The company said in a press release announcing the contract later the same day that it would be Australia's largest foreign military export to Germany.

The vehicles are being procured under a government-to-government letter of intent signed by Canberra and Berlin in March.

Rheinmetall's Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, will produce the vehicles, with deliveries to the German government planned for 2026–30, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) said in a press release on 10 April.

A Rheinmetall spokesperson told Janes that the first 20 vehicles would be produced in Rheinmetall's Kassel and Unterluess plants in Germany, with deliveries scheduled for 2025.

The sWaTrg Inf will replace the Bundeswehr's Wiesel 1 tracked tactical direct fire support weapon carrier and equip the German Army's new medium forces.


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Ukraine conflict: Lithuania sends mobile command vehicles to Ukraine

by Olivia Savage

Lithuania is providing its M577 command vehicle (pictured) to Ukraine under a military support deal. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Lithuania has supplied an undisclosed number of M577 armoured command vehicles to the Ukrainian army.

The vehicles, provided under a military support deal, arrived in Ukraine on 5 April, according to the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence (MND) on 6 April.

An MND spokesperson was unable to specify to Janes the number of units supplied for security reasons.

M577 is the command-and-control (C2) variant of the M113 tracked armoured personnel carrier (APC) that was first introduced to the US Army in the 1960s. Three generations exist – A1, A2, and A3 – as is the case with the M113. M577 can also be used as a fire-direction centre and mobile medical treatment facility as well as a communications vehicle.

In December 2016 Lithuania acquired 168 M577A2 vehicles from Germany at a cost of EUR1.6 million (USD1.7 million). The vehicles were suited for various purposes, including C2, artillery fire control, mortar fire control, training, and as an ambulance. This followed an earlier order for 26 M577s from Germany.


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Update: Iraq announces start of VN22 armoured vehicle production

by Jeremy Binnie

A still from a video released on 3 April 2024 shows a Norinco VN22 being demonstrated for the Iraqi minister of interior. (Defence Industry Commission of Iraq (DICI))

Iraq's state-owned defence industry has said it has begun producing Norinco VN22 6×6 armoured vehicles.

The Defence Industry Commission of Iraq (DICI) posted a video on its Facebook page on 1 April in which engineer Mustafa Ati Hassan, the president of the Military Industrialization Authority, stood next to a VN22 to announce the start of production of a 6×6 vehicle he did not name at the Al-Rabie factory, which is in southeast Baghdad. He provided no further details of the programme, with the video showing a production line for 4×4 light armoured vehicles, not the VN22.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/lithuania-increases-defence-spending

The Lithuanian government presented a draft state budget for 2022, increasing national defence spend...

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