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KMW, Rheinmetall Set Up Lithuanian JV

LDS Will Support Lithuanian and Baltic-Based NATO Nations’ Vehicles

Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann have established a new joint-venture company, Lithuania Defense Services (LDS), to provide logistical support to combat vehicles based in the Baltic region.

The company, which stood up operations in May, is based at a 12,000m2state-of-the-art maintenance and logistics centre” in Jonava, near Rukla, according to the two firms. The location has been chosen because Rukla is home to NATO’s Battlegroup Lithuania and also houses the nation’s largest military base. There is a direct rail link between the base and the LDS site.

A primary role for the centre will be to maintain Lithuania’s Vilkas fleet. The vehicle, a version of the multipurpose Boxer, is produced by ARTEC, another KMW/Rheinmetall joint venture. Lithuania ordered 88 Vilkas vehicles in 2016 and, earlier this year, announced it was negotiating with ARTEC for a further 120 units.

The facility will also maintain other vehicles operated in the region by other NATO nations during Enhanced Forward Presence rotations. As well as other variants of the Boxer, the other types to be supported include the Puma IFV, Bergepanzer 3 Büffel/Buffalo armoured recovery vehicle, various versions of the Leopard 2 main battle tank, and the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer, all of which are Rheinmetall and/or KMW products.

The new company's logo. (LDS)

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