Italy approves the supply to Ukraine of PzH 2000 & M109 155mm howitzers and M270 rocket launchers
According to information published by the Italian Newspaper "la Republica" on October 30, 2022, the Italian Government has approved the supply of 6 PzH 2000 155mm self-propelled howitzers, two M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System), 20 to 30 M109L 155mm self-propelled howitzers and dozen of M113 tracked APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers).
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Italy will deliver to Ukraine PzH 2000 and M109L 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers and M270 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.
In February 2022, the Italian government adopted a first decree to supply Ukraine with military vehicles and equipment for an amount of €110 million, and in April 2022 a second decree was adopted to provide more weapons to Ukraine.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Italy has already delivered to Ukraine 120mm mortar and munitions, LMV 4x4 armored vehicles, military trucks, pickup vehicles, Stinger MANPADS, FH-70 155mm towed howitzers, M2 Browning 12.7mm heavy machine guns, small arms, MILAN anti-tank missiles, Panzerfaust anti-tank rocket and 155mm artillery ammunition.
The Italian PzH 2000 155mm howitzers and M270 MRLS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) will come from its military inventory. Currently, the Italian armed forces have 69 PzH 2000 155mm howitzers and 22 M270 MLRS.
The M109L is an Italian-made development of the American M109 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer. The first batch of 32 155 mm M109Ls was completed in 1986 and final deliveries were made in 1992. The M109L 155 is no longer in service with the Italian army but an undisclosed number of these artillery howitzers are stored.
The M109L was upgraded with a 39-caliber long-barrel version to replace the original 23-caliber barrel of the American M109. The new cannon is able to fire FH-70 projectiles to a maximum range of 24,000 m. The M109L can also fire assisted ammunition at a maximum range of 30 km.
Germany and the Netherlands have already donated PzH 2000 155mm howitzers to Ukraine. The main armament of the PzH 2000 consists of a Rheinmetall 155mm 52 cal. gun with a chromium-plated barrel and semi-automatic lifting breech block with an integrated 32-round standard primer magazine. It has a maximum firing range of 30 km with standard projectiles and up to 40km with assisted projectiles.
M270s have also already been donated to Ukraine by Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom. The M270 is a Multiple Launch Rocket System based on a tracked chassis. The rear of the vehicle is equipped with two six-rocket pods. The vehicle is able to launch guided and unguided rockets at a maximum firing range of 70 km.