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Germany Confirms Future Supply of 18 Additional PzH 2000 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers to Ukraine.

| Defense News Army 2024

Germany has announced a significant expansion of its military support to Ukraine, with the Defense Ministry confirming on February 16, 2024, that it will supply an additional 18 Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) 155mm self-propelled tracked howitzers. This decision doubles the number of these advanced 155mm tracked artillery units provided to Ukraine, enhancing the country's military capabilities amid ongoing conflicts. This latest delivery builds on a series of support measures initiated by Germany since 2022, reflecting a deepening commitment to Ukraine's defense and sovereignty.
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The PzH 2000 155mm self-propelled howitzer is the backbone of the German army in the field of artillery support. (Picture source Army Recognition Group)

Beyond the tangible increase in military hardware, Germany's support for Ukraine encompasses a broad spectrum of financial, political, and logistical assistance. Financially, Germany has allocated substantial funds aimed at not only procuring military equipment but also supporting Ukraine's economic stability and infrastructural recovery. Politically, Germany has played a pivotal role on the international stage, advocating for Ukraine's sovereignty and rallying support among European and NATO allies.

The supply of equipment like the PzH 2000 howitzers is part of a larger package that includes anti-aircraft systems, armored vehicles, and advanced surveillance technology. This comprehensive aid package underscores Germany's strategic approach to supporting Ukraine, balancing immediate military needs with longer-term economic and political stability efforts.

The financial backbone of Germany's enhanced support for Ukraine is robust, with a dedicated budget of 5.4 billion Euros earmarked for security capacity building in 2023, a significant increase from the 2 billion Euros allocated in 2022. Moreover, the German government has secured additional authorizations to commit a staggering 10.5 billion Euros in the coming years, primarily aimed at bolstering military assistance for Ukraine. These funds are not only designated for direct military support to Ukraine but also play a crucial role in replenishing the Federal Armed Forces' stocks, replenishing supplies that have been directed to support the Ukrainian effort. Additionally, a portion of this funding is allocated to Germany's contributions to the European Peace Facility (EPF), an instrument that enables EU member states to be reimbursed for costs incurred from providing military assistance to Ukraine, ensuring a sustainable framework for continued support.

The Panzerhaubitze 2000, abbreviated as PzH 2000, stands as a testament to advanced artillery technology, blending firepower, precision, and rapid mobility into a formidable package. Developed by Germany, this self-propelled howitzer is designed to meet the rigorous demands of modern warfare, enabling forces to deliver devastatingly effective artillery support over considerable distances.

At its core, the PzH 2000 is equipped with a 155mm cannon, capable of firing a wide range of ammunition types. This versatility allows for a broad spectrum of combat applications, from high-explosive rounds to smoke and illumination shells. One of the most striking features of the PzH 2000 is its automated loading system, which significantly increases the rate of fire. In optimal conditions, it can achieve a firing rate of three rounds in nine seconds in its multiple-round simultaneous impact (MRSI) mode, where multiple shells are fired in such a quick succession that they can land on the target simultaneously, despite being launched at different angles.

The howitzer's advanced fire control system is another critical component, enabling highly accurate targeting over distances up to 30 kilometers with standard ammunition and beyond 40 kilometers with rocket-assisted projectiles. Some modified versions of the PzH 2000 have even demonstrated the capability to reach targets up to 50 kilometers away using specially designed ammunition.

Mobility is a key advantage of the PzH 2000, thanks to its tracked vehicle platform, which allows it to maneuver across various terrains, from deserts to snow-covered fields, at speeds up to 60 kilometers per hour. This mobility ensures that the PzH 2000 can be swiftly redeployed to support dynamic frontline operations, providing artillery support where it is most needed.

Moreover, the PzH 2000 incorporates sophisticated protection measures for its crew, including NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection systems, making it a resilient asset on the battlefield. Its combination of rapid mobility, high rate of fire, and precision targeting makes the PzH 2000 a critical component of modern military operations, capable of shaping the battlefield dynamics through its superior artillery capabilities.

Defense News February 2024

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