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H&K G36 rifles for the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Association

The Ministry of Defense of Lithuania has ordered another batch of 5.56mm Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifles from Germany, for approximately 3.5 million EUR (3.8 million USD).

On Monday, March 18th, the Ministry of Defense of Lithuania announced the order placed by the Defense Material Agency in Germany for another batch of 5.56mm Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifles, valued at approximately 3.5 million EUR (15.12 million PLN, 3.8 million USD). The firearms will be delivered to the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union (Lietuvos Šaulių Sąjunga, LŠS), a paramilitary organization commonly known as the Šauliai.

Photo: A. Genys / Ministry of Defense of Lithuania

The Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union plays a significant role in the national defense of the Lithuanian state. During peacetime, LŠS units are assigned to the Lithuanian Land Forces (Lietuvos sausumos pajėgos), maintaining interactions with them as part of state defense preparations, participating in joint exercises. Units for armed resistance command are also established within LŠS in case of war, which, following the principle of regional responsibility, are included in the mobilization exercise Perkūno Bastionas.

With the increasing role of the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union in state defense, ensuring proper equipment for volunteer riflemen is one of the priorities of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense. Therefore, in recent years, purchases have been made for assault rifles, ammunition, thermal imagers, small drones, bulletproof vests, ballistic helmets, backpacks, equipment, and uniforms. The ministry plans to allocate 5 million EUR (21.6 million PLN, 5.4 million USD) to maintain the continuity of basic training for riflemen.

The Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union has over 14,000 members. Since 2020, funding for LŠS from the state budget has increased by over 6 times, from the allocated 2.04 million EUR (8.81 million PLN, 2.2 million USD) to 13.6 million EUR (58.74 million PLN, 14.76 million USD) this year.

On March 13th, the Lithuanian government approved the project of a new strategy for the operation of LŠS for the years 2024-2035. The periodic strategy defines three key areas of LŠS activity: strengthening and development of the organization, LŠS’s contribution to enhancing state defense, crisis management and population protection, and increasing the resilience and will of society for armed resistance.

G36 rifles in Lithuania

The Lithuanian Armed Forces (Lietuvos ginkluotosios pajėgos) have been using G36 rifles since 2017 in various configurations: G36KA4, G36KV1, G36C, and G36KA4M1. The latest contract, worth 11 million EUR, was signed in November 2018. It included the delivery of G36KA4M1 rifles along with single-shot 40mm HK269 underslung grenade launchers. The previous contract, worth 12.5 million EUR, was concluded in August 2016.

The G36KA4M1 is a modified variant developed based on experiences with earlier versions. The standard G36KV has a barrel length of 318 mm, but the Lithuanians chose a version with a 406 mm barrel (similar to the Formoza Military Unit, which, however, has begun the process of replacing them with modular SIG Sauer MCX rifles).

The G36KA4M1 rifles have been equipped with a new type of stock, foldable to the side while also having an adjustable length of the buttstock and height of cheek rest. They come with narrower handguards, connected to the receiver via reinforced mounting. Additionally, the carry handle has been changed to include a universal rail and integral, foldable sights.


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