The VILKAS Infantry Fighting Vehicle is a Boxer IFV with SAMSON Turret

The VILKAS Infantry Fighting Vehicle is a Boxer IFV with the SAMSON II Weapon Station

The VILKAS Infantry Fighting Vehicle (Wolf) is the latest acquisition of the Lithuanian Land Force.

During August 2016, Lithuania officially purchased 88 Artec Boxer’s (Drive Modules & IFV Mission Modules) as used by NATO Allies, Germany and the Netherlands.

In addition, 88 Samson Mk2 Weapon Stations were ordered by Lithuania for their new Boxers, from Israeli Defence company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Rafael will be working as a sub-contractor for Artec during the VILKAS delivery, scheduled to start in 2017.

Whilst both the Boxer and Samson Mk2 offer high levels of mobility, protection and lethality, as “off the shelve” components, they ensure an availability of parts and reduced life-cycle costs for the Lithuanian Land Force.

VILKAS Samson Mk2 Firepower

The Samson Mk2 is described as an unmanned Remote Weapon Station. The range of Samson RWS is in service with 17 different countries, on both vehicles and naval ships. The Samson Mk2 can be fitted with additional modular armor.

The principal weapon is an unspecified, stabilized 30mm auto-cannon (this can be upgraded to a 40mm) for effective firing on the move. The secondary weapon is 7.62mm coaxial mounted Machine Gun.

The Samson Mk2 benefits from a dual Anti-Tank Guided Missile launcher, firing the Israeli Spike-LR Missile. The Launcher is elevated into the firing position from the RWS roof (left-side).

The crew can replenish all the weapons ammunition (including Spike-LR) from within the vehicle, offering them maximum protection.

The Samson Mk2 offers high levels of accuracy thanks to the latest sighting (thermal) equipment and Fire Control Systems.

VILKAS Infantry Fighting Vehicle Protection

The Boxer is designed to offer the maximum levels of protection against conventional and unconventional threats through its modular components. The use of a Drive Module and Mission Module in the Boxers design, creates a multi-layer floor and safety cell, for improved protection against IED/Mine attacks.

Just like the Patra AMV, the Boxer is a welded steel construction with sections of modular armor along the hull sides and front. The turret can be fitted with modular armor for enhanced protection if and when required.

These modular sections consist of external mounting points where ceramic passive armored plates are attached. These can be easily removed and replaced quickly on the battlefield if damaged.

The modular armor enables the Boxers protection to be upgraded (mission dependant) from Level 1 (7.62mm) to Level 6? (30mm AP) of STANAG 4569. The passive armor is normally mounted a few centimeters away from the hulls surface.

Additional safety features include all flammable liquid tanks are externally mounted of the main hull.

The crew are protected with internal spall liners and safety cells. The Boxer also features stealth-like technology for reducing Infa-Red and radar signatures. This was achieved through the use of decoupled and actively cooled plates on the front of the vehicle and the careful consideration of engine cooling.

VILKAS Infantry Fighting Vehicle Mobility

The Lithuanian VILKAS Infantry Fighting Vehicle – Boxer IFV hull and Samson MkII RWS

The Lithuanian VILKAS Infantry Fighting Vehicle – Boxer IFV hull and Samson MkII RWS

The Boxer was designed to keep pace off-road with the Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank (Leopard 2A6), which is in service with both Germany and the Netherlands. This requirement is met when at full combat weight and whilst in extreme environments.

The  Boxer is powered by a V8, 720hp diesel engine and features independent suspension, offering future growth potential in the vehicles payload capability without loss of mobility.

The Boxer has a permanent 8×8 drive, central tyre inflation system and 27 inch run flat tyres.

VILKAS Status

December 2015 – The Boxer is declared the prefered bidder for the Lithuanian Land Force Infantry Fighting Vehicle Program. the Program required a total of 88 vehicles with a medium calibre turret to be delivered from 2017 to 2020.

22 August 2016 – OCCAR, acting on behalf of Lithuania, place an order for 88 Boxer’s with ARTEC GmbH. The contract includes the delivery of 88 Boxer’s in four Infantry Fighting Vehicle versions developed for Lithuania, which will be called “Vilkas” within the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

29 August 2017 – Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announce the order of 88 Samson Mk2 RWS. The value of the oder is estimated as €100 million of the  €390 million being spent purchasing all 88 VILKAS.

Late 2017 – Anticipated first delivery of the VILKAS to Lithuania.

VILKAS Infantry Fighting Vehicle Specifications

Firepower
Main Gun 30mm Chain Gun
Secondary Weapons 7.62mm MG / Spike-LR Missile
Ammunition Storage ?
Mobility
Engine V8, 720hp, MTU 8V199 TE20 Diesel (Multi-Fuelled)
Transmission Allison HD4070 x7 speed Automatic
Top Road Speed 103 km/h
Suspension Type Independent
Road Range 1,050 km
Fuel Capacity unknown
Vertical Obstacle 0.8m
Water Capability Fording ?m
Trench Crossing 2m
Gradient 60%
Side Slope 30%
Dimensions
Length Gun Forward n/a
Length Hull 7.93m
Width 2.99m
Height 2.37m (hull roof)
Ground Clearance 0.5m
Weight upto 35 tonne combat weight
Protection
NBC Protected Yes
Armor Type Modular, Passive
Active Protection Systems Optional
Crew
Commander Yes
Gunner Yes
Loader No
Driver Yes
Additional Crew
Troops Carried 6

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