NATO completes modification program for Italian PzH 2000M 155mm self-propelled howitzers

According to information released on October 1, 2020, NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has successfully completed the Italian PzH 2000M 155mm self-propelled howitzer modification program, providing the Italian Artillery with a key upgrade for crew safety and the ability to operate under severe climate conditions.
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An Italian Army PzH 2000, 155mm self-propelled howitzer on tracked armored. (Picture source Wikimedia)

The new PzH 2000M variant expands the field capabilities, strengthening the systems in deployment scenarios, characterized by high temperatures, through the integration of Generator Cooling Systems and Charge Compartment Cooling Systems.

Additionally, the upgrade improves crew safety by introducing a fire extinguishing system in the crew compartment, as well as a Live Firing Box consisting of a selection of tools that allow "in mission" cleaning and maintenance of the shooting mechanisms.

The PzH2000M upgrade was contracted to Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) through an international competitive solicitation supported by the Italian Ministry of Defence's land systems directorate, "Direzione degli Armamenti Terrestri".

Close and effective coordination among the involved stakeholders resulted in the successful completion of all project phases by summer 2020, in line with the set technical and quality requirements, timelines, and costs. The systems are now ready to operate in the artillery units.

The PZH 2000 is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on a tracked armored vehicle designed and manufactured by the German company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann). In March 1996, Wegmann and Co GmbH of Kassel were awarded a contract from the German Ministry of Defence for the supply of 185 new 155 mm/52 caliber PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery systems. The PzH 2000 entered in service with the Italian army from 2003 to 2004.

The PzH 2000 is armed with one 155mm L52 gun that was developed by German company Rheinmetall DeTec. It is equipped with a fully automatic shell loading system with an ammunition management system. The 60-round projectile magazine as well as the complete shell handling system is controlled by an automatic data management system.