NATO NSPA delivers last refurbished PzH 2000 155mm self-propelled howitzers to Lithuania

According to information published by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency on March 22, 2022, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has delivered the last refurbished PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers to the Lithuanian Armed Forces this month.
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Official delivery of the last refurbished PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer to Lithuania. (Picture source NATO NSPA)

The NSPA PzH 2000 project team has managed the acquisition of a self-propelled howitzer capability to Lithuania. Support provided by NSPA included procurement of ammunition, customization and modernization of M577 and BPz2 support vehicles, implementation of a new fire control system, and integration and acquisition of new sensors and optronics for forwarding observation and tactical air control parties.

Members of the Air and Land Combat Systems Program's and the Lithuanian Armed Forces (LAF) PzH 2000 project teams spent January to March 2022 ensuring the smooth transition of the final self-propelled howitzer to Lithuania.

On September 29, 2015, a contract on procuring PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers from the German Armed Forces has been signed by the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence. According to the contract, the Lithuanian Armed Forces were going to receive 21 PzH 2000 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.

In February 2017, German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) received a contract from the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) to upgrade PzH 2000 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers that were acquired by Lithuania under a EUR58.3 million contract with the German armament procurement organization, the Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw), signed in September 2015.

In November 2016, Lithuania also signed a contract with Germany to acquire 168 German-built M577 armored carriers in command and control, artillery fire control, mortar fire control, training, and ambulance versions.

The PzH 2000 is a German-made 155 mm tracked self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall for the German Army. The howitzer entered in service with the German army in 1998. The PzH 2000 is currently in service with Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, and Qatar.

The main armament of the PzH 2000 consists of one 155mm L52 gun featuring a chromium-plated barrel, semi-automatic lifting breech block with integrated 32-round standard primer magazine. The gun can fire all the NATO standard 155mm ammunition with a maximum firing range of 30 km with standard shells and 40 km with assisted projectiles.

The hull and the turret of the PzH 2000 provide protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters. The howitzer has a crew of five. It is powered by an MTU MT 881 Ka-500 supercharged diesel engine developing 1,000 hp. It can run at a maximum road speed of 60 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 420 km.