Lithuania receives first modernized PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers

On 14 December 2018, Lithuanian Army General Romualdas Giedraitis presided the reception ceremony of the first two PzH2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000) self-propelled howitzers acquired from the German army.

Lithuania receives first modernized PzH2000 self propelled howitzers
Upgraded PanzerHaubitz PzH 2000 originating from the German army, delivered to the Lituanian army (Picture source: V. Zalatoriūtė)

"In a modern military conflict, as we can see from the military actions in Ukraine and other hot spots, effective artillery is one of the most important defense means and, at the same time, pillars of deterrence. These fully upgraded armored heavy SPHs will undoubtedly strengthen the defense capabilities of the Lithuanian Armed Forces as they are today setting the highest possible standard in the field of indirect artillery, "said Gediminas Jeglinskas, the Deputy Minister of National Defense.

The PzH2000 transferred to the Lithuanian Artillery Battalion were acquired from the German Army under a treaty signed in September 2015. A total of 18 modernized SPHs will be assigned to combat missions. "This is the best Christmas gift for the Artillery Battalion. These gifts will further motivate the soldiers of the Battalion to seek the status of the highest firepower battalion in the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The soldiers must achieve their goals, show the best results, but also take care of thei new weapons, "Lieutenant Colonel Marijus Jonelis, commander of R. Giedraitis Artillery Battalion.

Lithuanian troops will begin military training with these SPHs soon, and the first shootings are scheduled to take place in the spring of 2019 during exercises Ugninis griausmas. To this day, the battalion's most powerful gun was 105 mm. The PzH2000 can destroy targets distant of around 11 kilometers. With self-propelled shells, the range can be increased to 40 kilometers.

German representatives have already trained Lithuanian soldiers who will carry out the maintenance and servicing of this equipment, as well as the troops using it, as well as operation officers. Lithuanian soldiers participated in various courses and meetings with German specialists who presented their experience both in Lithuania and at the German Artillery School. It is planned that all modernized SPHs will be transferred to the Lithuanian Armed Forces by the end of 2019.