Lithuania purchases 3.5 million euros worth of assault rifles for paramilitary organization

A Latvian army soldier aims with his Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. A Latvian army soldier aims with his Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. Photo: Flikr

The National Ministry of Defense of Lithuania is acquiring new G36 assault rifles for the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union. Also known as Šauliai, it is a non-profit paramilitary organization supported by the local government.

The value of this acquisition is approximately 3.5 million euros (US$3.7 million).

+ Audi unveils new luxury electric SUVs Q6 and SQ6 e-tron with advanced technology and fast charging capabilities

Manufactured by the German company “Heckler & Koch GmbH,” the G36 rifle is among the most advanced automatic rifles currently in use by the Lithuanian service. Lightweight, reliable, and ergonomic, it serves as the primary firearm for the Lithuanian Armed Forces and is also used by armed forces in Germany, Spain, the United States, and other countries.

The Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union plays a significant role in national defense. During peacetime, combat riflemen units are assigned to Lithuanian Army units, participating in joint exercises and preparations for armed defense. Additionally, the LRU trains command resistance units, which, following a regional principle, are included in mobilization exercises like “Bastion Perkunas.”

As the role of the LRU in national defense continues to grow, ensuring adequate equipment for marksmen is a priority. In recent years, acquisitions have included automatic rifles, ammunition, thermal imagers, drones, ballistic vests, helmets, backpacks, field equipment, and uniforms. A budget of 5 million euros is allocated for the ongoing training of combat marksmen, ensuring better equipment for combat marksmen units and command resistance units of the LRU.

G36 variants from top to bottom: G36C, G36K, G36V (G36E), G36, MG36, and SL8G36 variants from top to bottom: G36C, G36K, G36V (G36E), G36, MG36, and SL8

The Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union brings together over 14,000 citizens of the Republic of Lithuania. To strengthen the LRU as a pillar of defense power, increased funding is allocated to the organization. Since 2020, funding for the LRU has increased more than sixfold, rising from 2.04 million euros in 2020 to 13.6 million euros in 2024.

On March 13, the government approved the strategy project for LRU activities. Covering the period from 2024 to 2035, the strategy outlines three key directions for LRU activities: strengthening and expanding the union, increasing the LRU’s contribution to strengthening national defense, crisis management and civil security, and enhancing society’s resilience and resistance.

Back to top