Lithuanian Armed Forces accepts first Vilkas modern infantry fighting vehicles
The Lithuanian Armed Forces have officially accepted the first delivery of Vilkas modern infantry fighting vehicles, the service said Tuesday.
On July 9 first two of the 88 Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) produced to the Lithuanian Armed Forces by a German manufacturer were formally handed over to Lithuania. The IFVs will be designated to the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf. The purchase fills in a capability gap in the Lithuanian Land Force.
“This is one of the most ambitious projects of upgrading the Lithuanian Armed Forces in the recent years, it will help ensuring the security of Lithuania for several decades to come,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said at the formal handover ceremony.
Minister underscored that “such a significant qualitative leap that strengthens our capabilities with modern weaponry matched to our needs demonstrates the responsibility we take the security situation with, the adequacy of our response and our readiness for defence.”
“However, today it is probably even more important and relevant to send a message to the Lithuanian society as well – we have paid too much for the freedom and independence already to afford to be stopped by the Vilkas project. A safe and strong Lithuania needs a strong armed forces, and that requires a fundamental updating. A strong and modern armed forces is also our duty, our responsibility to our state, the future of our children, and to everyone who fought for the freedom of Lithuania,” Minister R. Karoblis stressed.
Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Jonas Vytautas Žukas underscored that “the message that we are taking care of the security of our country responsibly and that we are ready to rebuff at short notice will be significantly more convincing from now on.”
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