NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has successfully completed the Italian PzH2000M modification programme, providing the Italian artillery with a key upgrade for crew safety and the ability to operate under severe climate conditions. The PzH2000M upgrade was contracted to Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) through an international competitive solicitation supported by the Italian Ministry of Defence’s land systems directorate, “Direzione degli Armamenti Terrestri”. NSPA provides well stablished in-service support to a fleet of nearly 300 systems and assists Nations to determine their technical requirements and manages modification, equipment integration and upgrade projects.
The new PzH2000M 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. Close and effective coordination among the involved stakeholders resulted in the successful completion of all project phases by summer 2020, in line with the set technical and quality requirements, timelines and costs.
The Panzerhaubitze 2000 (“armoured howitzer 2000”), abbreviated PzH 2000, is a German 155 mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall for the German Army. The PzH 2000 is one of the most powerful conventional artillery systems deployed in the 2010s. 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. The PzH 2000 has automatic support for up to 5 rounds of Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI). Two operators can load 60 shells and propelling charges in less than 12 minutes.
The PzH 2000 has also been selected by the armies of Italy, Netherlands, Greece, Lithuania and Croatia, and more orders are probable as many NATO forces replace their M109 howitzers. The Consortium formed by Oto Melara, a Finmeccanica company, and Iveco Fiat, on 17th December 2002 signed, in Rome, a contract with the Direzione Generale Armamenti Terrestri for the supply to the Italian Army of 70 self-propelled howitzers, PZH 2000 155/52 mm. The PZH 2000 has been designed and supplied to the German Army by the Kraus-Maffei-Wegmann company with which the Consorzio Iveco Fiat-Oto Melara has signed an industrial agreement in the frame of a Memorandum Of Understanding signed in the year 2000.