The Lithuanian government said on Friday it would proceed with negotiations to buy 88 Boxer armored fighting vehicles in a deal worth up to 400 million euros ($439 million).I can't argue with the selection of the Boxer and the weapons fit seems solid too. 30mm cannons and Spike-Long Range missiles? That's spot on.
The decision, where the Boxer was selected from a list of 12 suppliers that also included Swiss Piranha and American Stryker vehicles, came as the Baltic country moves to bolster its military amid tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis.
"After this decision, the project of the largest ever defense purchase will move forward swiftly," Lithuanian armed forces chief Jonas Zukas told reporters.
Senior government sources told Reuters the value of the deal was expected to be no higher than 400 million euros. That would still represent is a big undertaking for Lithuania, whose total defense budget stands at 425 million euros this year.
The Boxers are to be equipped with 30mm MkII guns and anti-tank system Spike-Lr, both manufactured by Israeli companies, the sources said.
What has me scratching my head is the magic trick they're pulling off. A 400 million Euro deal while having a total defense budget of 425 million Euros?
Interesting doesn't begin to state it. We're seeing some financial accounting games with the F-35 that are bordering on the criminal (no, not bordering...they're breaking the law) but the Lithuanians are taking the concept and injecting steroids into the process. More to come I'm sure.