US State Department expressed a consent for potential sale of the M1126 Stryker armoured vehicles, within the scope of the Foreign Military Sales programme, should Lithuania be willing to acquire the said vehicles. The maximum value of the agreement is estimated as USD 599 million. However, the sale is going to be possible only after the Congress expresses its consent within that scope. The Stryker offer is one of the two intergovernmental proposals within the procedure, the aim of which is to replace the obsolete Lithuanian M113 vehicles. Second offer has been submitted by Poland, proposing the Rosomak APC vehicle.
According to the information provided by the US State Department, the Lithuanian government which is currently carrying out a procedure, the aim of which is to select a successor for the obsolete M113 armoured vehicles, asked the US government to issue a consent for sale of the Stryker infantry fighting vehicles, should this vehicle be selected as a result of the aforementioned procedure.
The Lithuanians have expressed their interest in potential acquisition of 84 M1126 Stryker vehicles, armed with the XM813 30 mm automatic cannon or an European counterpart of this weapon, placed in an unmanned turret. The armament would be complemented with the .50-cal M2 heavy machine guns. The subject of the Agreement would also include a logistics package, which would include support activities realized within the territory of Lithuania, additional equipment, spare parts, AN/PRC-152, AN/PSN-13 DAGR and VIC-3 radio stations, training materials, simulators, user’s guides and translated technical documentation. The maximum value of the agreement is estimated as USD 599 million.
The State Department estimates that sale of the aforementioned armament would not have an impact on the military balance in the region, and simultaneously it is compliant with the US policy, since it is going to bolster the combat potential of a NATO member state. The Lithuanian authorities are willing to urgently acquire infantry fighting vehicles, in the light of the Russian threat and the Ukrainian crisis. Vilnius has already reintroduced the compulsory military service and increased the level of defence spending, e.g. by acquiring the state of the art armament, including the Javelin ATGM and Grom MANPADS systems, or the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. Moreover, Lithuania has also created a quick-reaction force component, and increased the overall number of troops, serving in the Army.
Offer similar to the American one, proposing that the Rosomak APCs are sold to Lithuania, has been placed by Poland. Spokesperson for the Rosomak S.A. company, Michał Rumin, confirmed the fact that negotiations are being carried out involving Lithuania, covering the issue of procurement of the Rosomak family vehicles manufactured in Poland. However, the details related to the talks still remain unknown. On the other hand, Spokeperson for the Polish Ministry of Defence, Col. Jacek Sońta, stated that offer for the Lithuanians had several variants. Sońta also noted: “We have offered to include Lithuania in the Polish logistics chain, and we have proposed that the Lithuanians could be involved in trainings and exercises.”
The decision related to selection of the new carrier is to be made by the end of November. As we know, the fact that the State Department has authorized the sale is not tantamount with the event of concluding the contract. Most probably, the Lithuanian tender has not yet been finalized and closed. The Lithuanian proceedings also include eight other armoured vehicle offers placed directly by the manufacturers, along with two offers pertaining only the turret systems. They have been described by us in the below article:
It shall be noted that Lithuania submitted a request to the United States, regarding the Stryker vehicles armed with the 30 mm cannon. This armament is not the standard equipment of this vehicle, as Stryker is usually fitted with a .50-cal machine gun. The US Army is going to ultimately modernize its Stryker vehicles, by equipping them with a remotely controlled armament module, fitted with a 30 mm cannon, designed by the Kongsberg company. The modifications are going to be implemented, in 2016, in case of the Stryker vehicles belonging to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, stationed in Germany on a daily basis. The above is going to constitute a form of “compensation” required in the light of “short-sighted withdrawal” of the heavy forces from Europe.