On 27th December the Ministry of Defense of Lithuania informed that delivery of a batch of 15 serial production Vilkas (GTK Boxer) infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), which were to be handed over from Germany by the end of 2019, will be delayed. The MoD explained that the main reason of the delay is a series of technical issues identified during after-production inspection process.
In general, Lithuanian Army will operate 88 Vilkas IFVs, which were ordered on 22nd August 2016. Their deliveries are to conclude in 2021. The contract had a value of 385,6 million EUR (1,67 billion Polish Zloty). Lithuanian Vilkas IFVs will be equipped with Rafael Samson Mk.II unmanned turrets / Picture: Lithuanian MoD
According to the Lithuanian MoD, Vilkas/Boxer manufacturer, ARTEC (ARmoured vehicle TEChnology), a joint-venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Nederland, was not able to fix the identified defects in time, in order to meet the original delivery schedule. However, the company declares that deliveries will be resumed as early as January 2020.
The first two Vilkas IFVs, from the pre-serial production batch, were delivered to Lithuania on 25th June 2019, following conclusion of a 12-months long intensive tests and trials process, conducted by ARTEC in Germany and Netherlands. Earlier, on 15th December 2017 the Lithuanian Army took over two vehicles in the driver training configuration (DTV).