Lithuanian Vilkas IFV prototypes tested
ARTEC is putting two Lithuanian Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) prototypes through testing at a German military training area, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 18 July.
Both prototypes have been developed according to requirements of the Lithuanian armed forces and are equipped with Israeli turrets, 30mm rapid-fire cannons and Spike LR anti-tank missiles.
The prototypes will assist ARTEC in identifying technical deficiencies before the commencement of mass manufacturing. Lithuanian armed forces personnel are participating in the testing to get experience in maintaining and operating the vehicles.
Various tests of the IFV’s mechanical and electronic systems in maximum modes will determine whether the prototype constructed for Lithuania’s order match the requirements of reliability, safety, functioning of components and modules. If weaknesses are identified, manufacturing and assembly processes will be adjusted.
Once the testing is complete, both prototypes will be reset and the IFVs will be returned to the Lithuanian armed forces. The first Vilkas IFVs are expected to be brought to Lithuania in early 2019.
Earlier in July 2018, Lithuania sent a letter of intent to join the NATO Support and Procurement Agency Boxer programme for supplying and maintaining the vehicles. Participation in the programme will allow access to common central and spare parts storages, service capabilities for major systems, engineer and technical support over the IFV's operational life.
The Lithuanian MoD signed a contract worth $449 million with ARTEC for the procurement of 88 IFVs in August 2016. The IFVs will be equipped with rapid-fire cannons and anti-armour missiles.
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