Rheinmetall and KMW join forces for Baltic defence
Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann have established a joint venture in Lithuania for providing logistical support for combat vehicles for both the Lithuanian armed forces and other NATO forces stationed in the Baltic states.
The joint venture, Lithuania Defense Services, will commence operations in Jonava, central Lithuania, in May 2022.
The site was chosen due to its proximity to Rukla, Lithuania’s largest military base and home to the NATO Battlegroup Lithuania, and direct access to existing railways.
One of the company’s main tasks will be to look after the Vilkas, Lithuania’s version of the Boxer armoured vehicle. It will also maintain other combat vehicles of the forces deployed in the region during Enhanced Forward Presence rotations.
These include other Boxer variants, the Puma IFV, the Bergepanzer 3 Büffel/Buffalo armoured recovery vehicle, various versions of the Leopard 2 MBT, and the PzH 2000 SPH.
The establishment of Lithuania Defense Services comes at an auspicious time, as in March the head of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence, Laurynas Kasčiūnas, announced that Lithuania will be ready to receive at least 7,000 NATO troops by the end of the year.
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