Source: Gladius Defense & Security
The US State Department has approved the sale of 500 M1278A1 heavy gun carrier variants of the Oshkosh L-ATV light utility/combat multi-role vehicle to Lithuania. The estimated $170.8 purchase includes the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical System’s Mk19 40mm grenade launcher and M2 .50 cal machine gun with quick change barrel. These will be mounted in the Kongsberg M153 Common Remote Weapon Station (CROWS). The Lithuanian order comes shortly after the US Marine Corps declared the vehicle’s Initial Operational Capability (IOC).
The L-ATV will provide Lithuania’s motorized infantry with a rapidly deployable armored vehicle, one operable with light infantry units for border security missions, offering increased protection on deployment. The L-ATV has mobility similar to Humvee and Land Rover vehicles with protection from small arms fire and IED attack equivalent to the Oshkosh M-ATV MRAP.
The Lithuanian Land Force recently opted to acquire wheeled armored fighting vehicles with the purchase of 88 Rheinmetall Boxer IFV capable of troop transport, fire support and anti-armor missions. Such a combination of light, highly mobile firepower will allow the Lithuanian Army to rapidly counter a heavy mechanized force.
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