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Lithuania donates Ukraine M577 command post carriers

Lithuania has delivered M577 Command Post Vehicles to Ukraine, adding to its military support that included artillery shells sent in early March. The country commits to long-term assistance with a €200 million package for 2024-2026.
M577 command post carriers. Photo: Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania
Lithuania donates Ukraine M577 command post carriers

On 6 April, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry announced that it had provided military aid to Ukraine by sending an undisclosed number of М577 Command Post Vehicles, which have already arrived in the country. A photo, accompanying the report shows three vehicles.

The M577 Command Post Carrier, a variant of the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, is designed for use as a mobile command post or tactical operations center, typically at the battalion level, and has seen service from the Vietnam War to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, being used by various armies and law enforcement agencies for multiple purposes, including as an armored ambulance and tactical response vehicle, and is distinguished by its raised upper hull and roof-mounted auxiliary power unit.

The Lithuanian ministry did not specify which variants of the M577 tracked vehicles were handed over to Ukraine, referring to the M577 as “armored personnel carriers”:

Lithuania continues to provide uninterrupted military support to Ukraine, with the delivery of M577 armored personnel carriers to the Ukrainian Armed Forces on 5 April,” the statement of Lithuania’s Defense Ministry reads, as the country’s National Defense Minister Laurynas Kasčiūnas reassured support for Ukraine “for as long as necessary.”

  • In 2022, Lithuania had already transferred an unknown number of M577s to Ukraine, Militarnyi reported. The OSINT Oryx group, which maintains the online tracker of visually confirmed equipment losses on both sides, has not recorded any Ukrainian losses of the M577 so far.
  • In 2016, Lithuania purchased 168 German M577 armored personnel carriers from the German military arsenal for €1.6 million. Under the treaty, the Lithuanian military received M577 Armored Command Post Vehicles in several batches over the following two years. Along with the vehicles, the Bundeswehr also transferred spare parts, maintenance tools, and crew equipment to its Lithuanian partners, as per Militarnyi.
  • In 2019, the German enterprise FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH won a tender set up by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) to modernize 22 M577 armored personnel carriers of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The upgraded M577 can be used to control PzH 2000 howitzers.

In April 2023, Portugal announced the dispatch of “five armored rescue and medical support vehicles” to Ukraine, including three M113s and two M577s, with the latter possibly being in their armored ambulance variant, as the report hinted.

One of the staunchest allies

Lithuania stands as one of Ukraine’s strongest allies against Russian aggression, contributing aid equal to 1.5% of its GDP, with an additional 0.5% towards EU support. In total, Lithuania has provided over €1 billion in government assistance, while grassroots initiatives have raised tens of millions more for military and humanitarian support, including a Bayraktar drone, anti-drone systems, radars, and generators for Ukraine’s army and civilians.

In today’s statement about the delivery of the M577 vehicles to Ukraine, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry also noted that it sent an undisclosed number of 155 mm artillery shells to Ukraine in early March in response to Kyiv’s request. Additionally,  Lithuania decided to contribute €35 million to a multilateral initiative launched by the Czech Republic to acquire and transfer ammunition to Ukraine.

The ministry notes that Lithuania’s military aid to Ukraine includes a wide range of weapons, ammunition, unmanned aerial vehicles, anti-drone equipment, training of troops, repair of heavy equipment, and “all other assistance provided according to the needs expressed by Ukraine.”

Lithuania has already established a long-term support plan for Ukraine, with a EUR 200 million package of military assistance to Ukraine for new acquisitions for the period 2024-2026. Since the beginning of the war, Lithuania has provided Ukraine with military assistance amounting to some €605 million,” the Lithuanian Defense Ministry concluded.

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