This means that the "unit has fully mastered" the new military equipment and is "fully prepared to perform the necessary tasks on the battlefield," the Armed Forces said in a press release on Saturday.

The Algirdas battalion achieved the FOC status following last month's Iron Wolf 2022 II exercise, when it successfully carried out offensive and defensive operations using the new IFVs at the Pabrade training area, it said.

The exercise also involved NATO's enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group stationed in Lithuania.

Lithuania signed a 386-million-euro contract on the acquisition of 88 IFVs in August 2016, with around half of the vehicles already delivered to the country and the rest expected to arrive in mid-2023.

The delivery of the IFVs, named Vilkas, or Wolf, has been repeatedly delayed due to various shortcomings. It turned out last summer that the military equipment delivered to the country could not be used for its intended purpose due to certain software-related defects, which were eventually eliminated.

Among other things, Lithuania is looking to buy 120 more such IFVs.

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