Army of Lithuania has now a fully operational artillery battalion with PzH 2000 155mm howitzers

According to a Tweet published by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense (MoD) on April 6, 2022, the Lithuanian Armed Forces are now equipped with 18 German-made PzH 2000 155 tracked self-propelled howitzers and now has a fully operational artillery battalion.
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Lithuania's army is now equipped with 18 German-made PzH 2000 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers. (Picture source Lithuania MoD)

In September 2015, Army Recognition reported that Lithuania had signed a contract to procure 21 PzH 2000 155mm self-propelled howitzers from the German Armed Forces.

The Lithuanian Armed Forces will obtain 21 155mm self-propelled howitzers from the German Armed Forces under the contract. 16 of them will be used for combat purposes, 2 will be used for training firing and driving skills, and 3 more – for spare parts. The Lithuanian Armed Forces will also receive 26 M577 V2 armored command vehicles and 6 BPZ2 recovery tanks. All of the procured equipment was formerly used by the German Armed Forces.

The PzH 2000 is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer designed, developed and manufactured by the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) together with Rheinmetall Defence. The contract awarded on 14 March 1996 for serial production of 185 armored self-propelled howitzers PzH 2000 for the German Army marked a key event in the success story of this weapons system. The Pzh 2000 is now in service with Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, and Qatar.

The PzH 2000 is based on a tracked armored chassis with the driver seated at the front right, the power pack to the left, and the turret towards the rear. The main armament of the PzH 2000 consists of one 155 mm 52 caliber cannon which is equipped with an automatic electrically driven projectile loading system that enables loading and firing to take place within the full traverse and elevation range. The 60-round projectile magazine as well as the complete shell handling system is controlled by an automatic data management system.

The 155mm cannon of the PzH 2000 has a maximum firing range of 30 km with standard ammunition and 40 km with extended-range ammunition. This artillery system can reach a rate of fire of three rounds in 9.2 seconds.

The PzH 2000 is equipped with an automatic fire-control system integrated with the gun control system for indirect target laying and consists of an integrated hybrid navigation system with the appropriate digital computers for automatic operation. This is the primary mode and there is optical/mechanical equipment for the backup mode.

The PzH 2000 has a crew of five, but it can be operated by three crew members. This crew is capable of operating the gun, loading the gun, and carrying out preventative maintenance.

The PzH 2000 is based on a tracked chassis consisting of a torsion bar suspension with seven double-tired roadwheels on each side with three track-return rollers, a drive sprocket at the front, and an idler at the rear. The vehicle is powered by an MTU 881 diesel engine developing 1,000 hp coupled to a Renk HSWL 284 automatic transmission with 4 forward and two reverse gears. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 60 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 420 km.