Panzerhaubitze 2000

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Panzerhaubitze 2000
Italian Army - 132nd Field Artillery Regiment "Ariete" PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer in Qatar.png
Panzerhaubitze 2000 in profile
TypeSelf-propelled gun
Place of originGermany
Service history
In service1998–present
WarsWar in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Production history
Designed1987–1996
Unit costDM 9 million (1996)
17 million (2022)[1]
Produced1996–present
Specifications
MassCombat: 55.8 t (61.5 short tons)
Length11.7 m (38 ft 5 in)
Width3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)
Height3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
Crew5 (commander, driver, gunner, and two loaders)

Rate of fire3 rounds in 9.0 seconds (Burst)
10 rounds per minute
Effective firing rangeDM121 Boattail: 30–36 km (19–22 mi)
M1711 Base bleed: 40–47 km (25–29 mi)
RAP: 67 km (42 mi)

Armorwelded steel, 14.5 mm resistant
additional bomblet protection
Main
armament
Rheinmetall 155 mm L52 Artillery Gun
60 rounds
Secondary
armament
7.62 mm Rheinmetall MG3 machine gun
EngineMTU 881 Ka-500
1,000 PS (986 hp, 736 kW)
Power/weight17.92 PS/t
Suspensiontorsion bar
Operational
range
420 km (260 mi)
Maximum speed Road: 67 km/h (41 mph)
Off-road: 45 km/h (28 mph)

The Panzerhaubitze 2000 ("tank howitzer 2000"[2]), (pronounced [pantsɛʁhaʊbɪtsɛ tsvaɪtaʊsn̩d] (listen)) abbreviated PzH 2000, is a German 155 mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall in the 1980s and 1990s for the German Army. It is capable of a very high rate of fire; in burst mode it can fire three rounds in nine seconds, ten rounds in 56 seconds, and can—depending on barrel heating—fire between 10 and 13 rounds per minute continuously.[3][unreliable source?] The PzH 2000 has automatic support for up to five rounds of Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI). Replenishment of shells is automated. Two operators can load 60 shells and propelling charges in less than 12 minutes. In Ukraine 2022 PhZ 2000 showed quick wearing with a high fire rate, as it is designed for 100 rounds a day only.[4] The PzH 2000 equips the armies of Italy, Ukraine, Netherlands, Greece, Lithuania, Hungary, Qatar and Croatia, mostly replacing older systems such as the M109 howitzer. In November 2019, a PzH 2000 L52 gun fired a shell a distance of 67 km.[5]

Development[edit]

In 1986, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany agreed to terminate their existing development of the PzH 155-1 (SP70) programme, which had run into reliability problems and had design defects, notably being mounted on a modified tank chassis. A new Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMOU) for a 52 caliber barrel (based on a UK proposal), to replace the 39 caliber design, was nearing an agreement. German industry was asked for proposals to build a new design with gun conforming to the JBMOU. Of the proposed designs, Wegmann's was selected. Wegmann eventually won a contract in 1996 for 185 units to be delivered to Germany's rapid reaction force, followed by another 410 for the main force.

Wegmann and KraussMaffei, the two main German military tracked vehicle manufacturers, merged in 1998 to form KMW.

Design[edit]

Rheinmetall designed the 155 mm 52-calibre JBMOU compliant rifled gun (60-rifles, right-hand spiral), which is chromium-lined for its entire 8 m length and includes a muzzle brake on the end. The gun uses a new modular charge system with six charges (five identical), which can be combined to provide the optimal total charge for the range to the target, as well as the conventional bagged charge systems. Primer is loaded separately via a conveyor belt, and the entire loading, laying and clearing is completely automated. The maximum range of the gun is 30–36 km with the standard DM121 Boattail round, about 40–47 km with base bleed rounds, and 67 km with M2005 V-LAP assisted projectiles.[6] In April 2006 a PzH 2000 shot assisted shells (Denel V-Lap) over a distance of 56 km with a probable maximum range of over 60 km.[7] The gun can also fire the SMArt 155 artillery round, which is used by Germany and Greece.

Wegmann supplied both the chassis, sharing some components with the Leopard 2, and the turret for the gun. The system has superb cross-country performance because of its use of continuous tracks and considerable protection in the case of counter-fire. The turret includes a phased array radar on the front glacis for measuring the muzzle velocity of each round fired. Laying data can be automatically provided via encrypted radio from the battery fire direction centre.

A lighter, more air-portable version, using the gun in a module fitted to a lighter chassis, has been developed by KMW. It is called the Artillery Gun Module.

In December 2013, Raytheon and the German Army completed compatibility testing for the M982 Excalibur extended range guided artillery shell with the PzH 2000. Ten Excaliburs were fired at ranges from 9 to 48 km. Shells hit within 3 m of their targets, with an average miss distance of 1 m at 48 km. The Excalibur may be accepted by the German Army in 2014.[8]

A PzH 2000 L52 gun fired a shell a distance of 67 km at the Alkantpan test range in South Africa on 6 November 2019.

In 2021, Germany and the Netherlands agreed to jointly define & execute a Mid Life Update to the operational Pzh2000 in their inventories and ensure standardisation and availability.

Combat record and alterations[edit]

Panzerhaubitze 2000 – Bundeswehr Military History Museum, Dresden

The PzH 2000 was used for the first time in combat by the Fire Support Command of the Royal Netherlands Army in August 2006 against Taliban targets in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Medusa.[9] It was then used regularly in support of coalition troops in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. The PzH 2000 was also used extensively during the Battle of Chora. It was known as "the long arm of ISAF" and proved to be very precise & effective. The gun was criticised by the Dutch in Uruzgan province as the NBC system designed for use in Europe couldn't cope with the high level of dust in Afghanistan.

The guns have been modified with additional armor being fitted to the roof to protect against mortar rounds. There have been reports of other problems including the need to keep it in the shade unless actually firing, the damage it does to poorly built roads, and a significant 'cold gun' effect necessitating the use of 'warmers'.

Starting in June 2010, German ISAF troops at PRT Kunduz had three PzH 2000s at their disposal. They were first used on 10 July 2010 to provide support for the recovery of a damaged vehicle. This was the first time in its history the Bundeswehr has used heavy artillery in combat.[10] The PzH 2000 also played a key role during Operation Halmazag in November 2010, when the villages of Isa Khel and Quatliam were retaken from the Taliban by German paratroopers.[11]

War in Ukraine[edit]

On 21 June 2022, twelve Panzerhaubitze 2000s were deployed to Ukraine; seven came from Germany and five from the Netherlands.[12] An additional five Panzerhaubitze 2000s were given to Ukraine by Italy in July 2022, with several pictures emerging on social media of units mounted on rail cars in the Brenner Pass on 10 July on their way north to Germany. After a couple of weeks they need repair, as they are built for 100 shots a day only.[4] This came about due to error messages that were being displayed. Ukraine has also mishandled the weapons by firing “ special ammunition at too great a distance.” Germany considers 100 shots a day “a high-intensity mission”. Ukraine has constantly exceeded this number. This has stressed the loading mechanism. The Bundeswehr has sent spare parts while a repair facility in Poland is being established to repair the weapons. This comes as Ukraine and KMV enter into a 1.7 billion euro deal to purchase 100 PzH 2000s.[13]

Operators[edit]

PzH 2000 operators in blue
Italian Army PzH 2000 in Qatar
  •  Croatia: 16 ordered (second-hand from Germany);[14] 12 to be modernized and overhauled, 3 for spare parts, 1 for training. Total value of the contract was 55 million euros.[15] The first PzH 2000 was delivered on 29 July 2015.[16] Agreement for the procurement was signed in 2014, deliveries were to take place between 2015 and 2016, howitzers to be introduced in service by 2019.[17]
  •  Germany: 185 delivered between 1998 and 2002.[18] 7 were sent to Ukraine in 2022. 16 sold to Croatia and 21 to Lithuania. 108 to remain in active service.[14]
  •  Greece: 25 ordered in 2001 and delivered between 2003 and 2004.[18]
  •  Hungary: 24 ordered in December 2018, first vehicle delivered on August 10, 2022. [19][20][21]
  •  Italy: 70 ordered in 2002 and delivered between 2004 and 2008.[22] 2 pre-production models were retired.[citation needed]
  •  Lithuania: 21 delivered between 2015 and 2022. 17 active, 3 for spare parts, 1 for training.[23][24]
  •  Netherlands: 57 ordered in 2002 and delivered between 2004 and 2009, 5 were sent to Ukraine in 2022, 35 in active service (2022), 10 additional planned (2024).[25][26]
  •  Qatar: 24 ordered in 2013,[27] first three delivered in 2015[28]
  •  Ukraine: During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, an announcement was made on 20 April that five Dutch PzH 2000s would be transferred to Ukraine, with ammunition and training to be provided by Germany.[29] On 6 May, it was announced that Ukraine would receive seven units from German Army stocks which were undergoing maintenance.[30] On 7 May, Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed to supply the ammunition required, straight from industry to Ukrainian forces, without having to go through the German government for approval in the future.[31] Training of Ukrainian artillery crews started on 11 May 2022 at the Bundeswehr's artillery school in Idar-Oberstein.[32] On 21 June, Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov announced that the first PzH 2000s had entered Ukrainian service.[33] Der Spiegel reported on 27 July that Germany had agreed to sell 100 more PzH 2000s to Ukraine.[34]By the end of July many of the PzH 2000s' ammo loading mechanism broke down because of considerable strain: while the PzH 2000 is designed to fire 100 shells per day, the Ukrainians probably fired the gun much more often. Beside sending the necessary spare parts to Ukraine, the German government is negotiating the creation of a repair center for its equipment in Poland.[35]

Exports[edit]

A number of armies have tested the PzH 2000 system; its ability to provide accurate fire at 40 km has been a major selling point.

The PzH 2000 was considered for the US Army's Crusader concept system, but several requirements of the Crusader made it unsuitable. The Crusader specifications placed the crew and gun in separate compartments, allowing a single highly armoured crew compartment to control the firing of an entire battery of guns through intervehicle links. In addition, the Crusader included an automated ammunition tender, and an active cooled barrel.[36]

The PzH 2000 was a contender for Phase 1C of Australia's Land 17 Artillery Replacement Programme, until that phase of the project was cancelled in May 2012.[37]

Finland tested a PzH 2000 alongside the 155mm SpGH ZUZANA and AS-90 "Braveheart". Tests ended in 1998; more of the cheaper 155 K 98 field guns were bought instead of self-propelled systems.[38]

The German Navy evaluated a modified system known as MONARC for installation onboard frigates; while the system performed well, components were difficult to protect against corrosion. Sweden evaluated a slightly modified version, but selected the ARCHER Artillery System instead.

In December 2018, Hungary ordered 24 new-build PzH 2000s from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, along with 44 Leopard 2A7+ and 12 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, in a deal valued at over 160 billion HUF (USD $565 million).[19][20]

In June 2022, Germany and the Netherlands authorized the transfer of twelve Panzerhaubitze 2000s to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with the first being received on 21 June.[39]

Similar vehicles[edit]

See also[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "KMW from Germany offers Ukraine to purchase 100 PZH 2000 155mm howitzers | Defense News April 2022 Global Security army industry | Defense Security global news industry army year 2022 | Archive News year".
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Kmweg.com. Archived from the original on 28 October 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Army Technology with data on PzH 2000". Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  4. ^ a b Gelieferte Panzerhaubitzen müssen schon repariert werden, FAZ, 2022-07-29.
  5. ^ "Rheinmetall develops new long-range howitzer". Janes.com. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Panzerhaubitze 2000 – Konzepte zur Schließung der Reichweitenlücke". Esut.de. 14 November 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  7. ^ "KMweg.de". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  8. ^ German Army PzH 2000 Howitzer Test Fires Excalibur 155mm Artillery Projectile Archived 2014-08-10 at the Wayback Machine - Deagel.com, 10 December 2013
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-03-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Bundeswehr setzt erstmals schwere Artillerie ein Archived 2013-12-05 at the Wayback Machine. Hamburger Abendblatt, 12 July 2010
  11. ^ Der Kampf um Quatliam Archived December 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, by David Schraven (in German)
  12. ^ "First heavy weapons from Germany arrive in Ukraine". www.dw.com. 2022-06-21. Retrieved 2022-06-22.
  13. ^ Boyko Nikolov (2022-07-30). "German PzH 2000s in Ukraine wear out: error message after heavy fire". bulgarianmilitary.com. Retrieved 2022-08-02.
  14. ^ a b "Panzerhaubitze 2000 – Konzepte zur Schließung der Reichweitenlücke". 14 November 2019.
  15. ^ "PzH Howitzer test firing" (Press release). Ministry of Defence of Croatia. 28 June 2017. Archived from the original on 6 August 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  16. ^ Nicholas, de Larrinaga (29 July 2015). "Croatia receives first PzH 2000". IHS Jane's 360. IHS Jane's 360. Archived from the original on 2 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  17. ^ "Signing of Agreement on Procurement of German PzH 2000 Howitzers" (Press release). Ministry of Defence of Croatia. 9 December 2014. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Contract For 24 PzH 2000 Self-Propelled Howitzers Signed With Greece". defense-aerospace.com (Press release). Briganti et Associés. 5 July 2001. Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  19. ^ a b Braatz, Kurt (19 December 2018). "Krauss-Maffei Wegmann unterstützt ungarische Heeres-Modernisierung" (PDF). Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (in German). Munich. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  20. ^ a b Dunai, Peter (20 December 2018). "Update: Hungary orders Leopard 2 MBTs and PzH 2000 SPHs". IHS Jane's 360. Budapest. Archived from the original on 21 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Megjött a Magyar Honvédség által rendelt önjáró lövegek első darabja". telex (in Hungarian). 2022-08-10. Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  22. ^ "Oto Melara: Italian Army Contract for 70 PZH 2000 Self-Propelled Howitzers". defense-aerospace.com (Press release). Briganti et Associés. 17 December 2002. Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Lietuva iš Vokietijos perka kelias dešimtis haubicų". Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  24. ^ "NSPA DELIVERS PZH 2000 SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZER TO THE LITHUANIAN ARMED FORCES". Retrieved 28 April 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ "The Netherlands Sign Contract For PzH 2000 Self-Propelled Howitzers". defense-aerospace.com (Press release). Briganti et Associés. 1 May 2002. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  26. ^ "Vuursteun Commando Koninklijke Landmacht". defensie.nl (in Dutch). Ministerie van Defensie. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Supports Qatar's Army Moderni zation" (PDF) (Press release). Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG. 2013-04-18. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  28. ^ Hickmann, Christoph; Berlin, Georg Mascolo. "Waffenexporte: Deutschland liefert Kampfpanzer nach Katar". Archived from the original on 2 January 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2016 – via Sueddeutsche.de.
  29. ^ "Deutschland bildet offenbar Ukrainer an Panzerhaubitze 2000 aus". Handelsblatt (in German). 20 April 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  30. ^ "Deutschland liefert Panzerhaubitzen". Tagesschau (in German). 6 May 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  31. ^ "Germany to send seven howitzers to Ukraine in further policy reversal". Reuters. 7 May 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  32. ^ "Ukrainische Soldaten zur Ausbildung in Rheinland-Pfalz angekommen". SWR Aktuell (in German). 11 May 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  33. ^ "Panzerhaubitze 2000 are finally part of 155 mm howitzer arsenal of the Ukrainian artillery. I appreciate all efforts of my colleague 🇩🇪 #DefMin Christine Lambrecht in support of 🇺🇦. Our artillerymen will bring the heat to the battlefield". Twitter.com. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  34. ^ Gebauer, Matthias; Traufetter, Gerald (28 July 2022). "(S+) Ukraine-Krieg: Berlin genehmigt Verkauf von 100 Panzerhaubitzen". Spiegel.de. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  35. ^ "Front News - Ukraine appealed to Germany because of problems with PzH 2000 howitzers".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-09. Retrieved 2015-04-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ "Rethink of Defence projects to save billions". ABC Online. May 3, 2012. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-03-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ "Germany, Netherlands to donate 12 PZH 2000 howitzers to Ukraine".

External links[edit]