Lithuania’s main combat vehicle fleet currently consists of 91 GTK Boxer infantry fighting vehicles, with an additional purchase of 120 announced in April 2022.
Lithuania, a small country nestled in the North Central Coast, on the Baltic Sea. It is bordered by Latvia, Belarus, Poland and Kaliningrad, a separate territory of Russia. Amid the escalation of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, Lithuania is one of the countries that has supplied weapons to Ukraine to support its struggle against Russian aggression. Lithuania is also planning to increase defense spending to more than double its army’s modern infantry fighting vehicle fleet.
Lithuania’s main combat vehicle fleet currently consists of 91 GTK Boxer infantry fighting vehicles, with an additional purchase of 120 announced in April 2022. Thus, the strength of the Lithuanian ground forces will increase significantly. The Boxer is a multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed by an international consortium to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. Boxer operators include: Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Australia and the UK.
The Boxer has been produced and seen service in A0, A1 and A2 configurations. Lithuania will receive Boxer in A2 configuration. The first vehicles were delivered to Lithuania in December 2017. New orders will be delivered between 2023 and 2024. The decision to strengthen Lithuania’s ground forces was made after assessing the lessons learned from the ongoing war in Ukraine.
In Lithuanian service the vehicle is designated as Vilkas, meaning Wolf. The differences between A1 and A2 configuration are relatively minor electrical and mechanical engineering changes. The A2 standard resulted from operations in Afghanistan and incorporates changes in the drive and mission modules that include preparation for the integration of a driver vision system, changes to the stowage concept in both modules, changes to the gearbox, integration of a fire suppression system, modification of the RCWS, interface for an IED jammer, satellite communication system and other minor modifications.
Boxers are fitted with a variety of armament depending on the configuration required by the customer, ranging from a 7.62 mm light machine gun in a remote weapon station to a 30 mm cannon in a turret. Lithuanian Boxers are fitted with the Israeli-made RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Samson Mk II RCT turret, mounting a fully stabilised Orbital ATK Mk 44 30 mm dual-feed cannon, 7.62 mm co-axial MG, and Spike-LR missiles. The turret is fitted with an independent commander’s sight with both commander and gunner provided with thermal and daylight channels.
Boxer’s protection is respectable. It is claimed that front armor can withstand 30 mm rounds, while the all-round protection can withstand 12.7 mm fire. Damaged armor slabs can be easily replaced in field condition. Also this APC has low radar and acoustic signatures, making it harder to detect.
The Boxer is powered by an MTU V8 199 TE20 diesel engine, developing 711 horsepower. Newer version are fitted with a slightly more powerful MTU 8V 199 TE21 diesel, developing 721 hp. There are versions of the Boxer, fitted with a more powerful engine, developing 804 hp. It is not clear what type of engine the Lithuanian version will be equipped with. But basically, the Boxer’s maneuverability has been proven. It can travel off-road at speeds up to 80 km/h, and on-road it can achieve over 100 km/h, and has a maximum road range in excess of 1,000 km.