155mm self-propelled howitzer on tracked armored - Germany
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 stringent requirements imposed by the German customer on a tube artillery system and still applied throughout the world have even been surpassed in some key areas. It became clear very early on that the PzH 2000, on top of that, also boasted a high growth potential for future users. Concurrently with the development phase, the performance spectrum was demonstrated to the NATO partners in numerous international presentations. Amongst other capabilities, the engagement of moving sea targets with precise single shots, was very successfully demonstrated in Sweden in 1996, which opened up an entirely new operational spectrum for the classic tube artillery. Successful trials, including the demonstration of an MRSI capability in 1997 (firing different shell-charge combinations from one gun so that the shells impact the same target at the same time) as well as effective range demonstrations of > 40 km, when the system was on the shortlist for Greece, underpin the demanding claim to establish the PzH 2000 as the future NATO-wide 155 mm/52 cal standard gun. The PzH 2000 meets all international requirements for a tube artillery system and may be regarded as the top product of the German defense industry, with KMW as the system's lead contractor. With the delivery of the first PzH 2000 GR production system for Greece in May 2003, the PzH 2000 is now set to establish itself as the EURO howitzer. Other than with Greece (24 PzH 2000), contracts exist with the Netherlands (57) and Italy (70). In 2014, Croatia signed an agreement for procurement on 16 Pzh 2000. The first deliveries were to take place between 2015 and 2016, and it entered service in 2019. Lithuania ordered 21 PzH 2000 in 2015 and the howitzers entered into service with the Lithuanian army in 2019. The PZH 2000 is also in service with Qatar armed forces since 2015. In December 2018, Hungary ordered 24 newly built PzH 2000s from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. On April 9, 2022, the German company KMW offered to Ukraine the purchase of 100 PzH 2000 howitzers. According to information published by the International press agency Bloomberg on April 20, 2022, the Netherlands would have delivered PzH 2000 howitzers to Ukraine. On April 26, 2022, the government of the Netherlands confirmed the supply of a limited number of PzH 2000 howitzers to Ukraine. On May 4, 2022, Germany approved the delivery of seven PzH 2000 tracked self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. On June 28, 2022, German Defense Minister Lambrechts announced that Germany in collaboration with the Netherlands will supply Ukraine with six additional PzH 2000 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers. On June 29, 2022, Italy delivered five PzH 2000 howitzers to Ukraine. In July 2022, Germany approved the sale of 100 Pzh 2000 155mm self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine for an amount of €1.7 billion. On October 12, 2022, the German Ministry of Defense announced the delivery to Ukraine of more PzH 2000 howitzers. On October 25, 2022, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced the delivery to Ukraine of four more PzH 2000 howitzers. In October 2022, the Italian government agreed on the delivery of six PzH 2000 to Ukraine. On January 21, 2023, pictures were released on Social Networks showing an Italian army PzH 2000 howitzer in service with the Ukrainian army. On April 30, 2023, the German Government approved the procurement of 10 additional PzH 2000 howitzers to replace those given to Ukraine. On May 25, 2023, German defense firm, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), announced that the Bundeswehr, the German army, has officially placed an order for twelve new Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) 155mm self-propelled howitzers.
PzH 2000 variants:
- PzH 2000M: Italian army 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 PzH 2000 main armament 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. The 30 km range requirement with NATO standard shells and the 40 km requirement with base-bleed shells has been met with the development of a new 155 mm 52 cal barrel. The ordnance which features a chrome-plated and laser-hardened barrel bore reflects state-of-the-art technology and fully conforms to the "Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding", an international memorandum that defines the design and ordnance parameters and thus permits firing of all NATO-standardized charge systems. The stable firing platform and high-precision gun laying system of the PzH 2000 make it possible to meet the effective range requirements at all elevation angles, 360 degrees all-round, with great hit accuracy even at firing rates of 10 rounds/minute. The core element of the PzH 2000 is the electrically powered and digitally controlled automatic shell loading system designed to handle the 155 mm shells when loading and unloading the 60-round magazine, loading the gun from the magazine, and loading from outside, including the inductive fuze setting. The shells are rammed into the breach by means of a pneumatically operated flick rammer with elevation-angle-dependent ramming pressure control over the entire gun control range. It takes two crew members less than 11 minutes to take over the full combat load consisting of 60 x 155mm shells and the corresponding amount of charges. In addition to the fully automatic modes of operation, degraded modes all the way to manual operation are possible so that a high rate of fire and reaction capability can be maintained even in backup modes. A 7.62 mm anti-aircraft machine gun is mounted on the left side top of the turret. A bank of four 76mm smoke grenade dischargers is mounted to each side of the gun at the front of the turret. The turret can rotate through 360° with an elevation of +65° and depression of -2.5 for the gun.
|Design and protection|
The hull and the turret of the PzH 2000 are made in all-welded steel armor which provides protection against the firing of small arms and shell splinters. The two main parts of the vehicle are the tracked chassis and the turret mounted at the rear of the hull. The driver is seated at the front right of the hull with the power pack to its left. The turret is equipped with two roof hatches. The PzH 2000 can be equipped with add-on armor on the roof of the vehicle to increase protection against top attack weapons. This can be quickly attached by the crew using onboard equipment.
|The PzH 2000 short barrel overhang, which results from the rearward positioning of the turret on a front-sprocket-driven chassis powered by a 736 kW (1,000 HP) engine, provides excellent tactical and operational mobility comparable to a medium battle tank. The torsion bar suspension consists of each side with seven double-tired roadwheels with three track-return rollers, a drive sprocket at the front, and an idler at the rear. The PzH 2000 is motorized with an MTU 881 diesel engine developing 1,000 hp coupled to a Renk HSWL 284 automatic transmission with 4 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds. The PzH 2000 can run at a maximum road speed of 60 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 420 km. The vehicle can climb up to 50% gradient and vertical obstacle of 1 m, move on a 25% side slope, and cross a trench of a maximum of 3 m.|
|The PzH 2000 is fitted with a panoramic day/night sight with a laser range-finder and a day/night direct fire sight. The PzH 2000 is the only 155 mm 52 cal artillery weapons system to feature a fire control computer with integrated NABK (NATO Artillery Ballistic Kernel) for autonomous computation of firing commands. Downloading FCI data and the corresponding ammunition designations simplify the integration of new country-specific types of ammunition into the onboard fire control computer. An onboard ballistics computer, a muzzle velocity measurement and management system as well as a GPS-based inertial navigation system determining position, bearing, elevation above sea level and spatial position of the barrel make the PzH 2000 a fully stand-alone weapons system. On the move or in defilade positions, the PzH 2000 receives target data with engagement inputs from a higher level command post via a data radio link. After onboard laying and loading data computation, the firing command is executed, whereupon the vehicle leaves its firing position immediately after the last round is fired. This so-called shoot & scoot capability makes it next to impossible for hostile reconnaissance to respond in time with counter-battery fire. Standard equipment includes a fire warning and extinguishing system for the engine compartment and an NBC protection and ventilation system for the crew compartment.|
|One 155 mm 52 cal. gun, one 7.62 mm machine gun||Protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell |
|Country users||Weight vehicle|
|Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Qatar, and Ukraine.||55,330 kg combat condition|
|Designer Country||Speed vehicle|
|Germany - KMW||60 km/h maximum road speed|
|A fire computer system, panoramic day/night sight, laser range-finder, day/night direct fire sight, NBC protection system||420 km|
|5||Length: 11.66 m; Width: 3.58 m; Height: 3.46 m|
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