A Royal Netherlands Army mobile unit assigned to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania recently conducted a live-fire exercise at Pabradė Training Grounds alongside their Lithuanian counterparts. With their ability to “shoot and scoot” – conduct fire missions and then quickly move to cover – mobile artillery plays a crucial role in many Allied militaries. For this exercise, the Dutch and Lithuanians used Panzer Howitzer 2000-NL (PZH 2000-NL) self-propelled guns to practise this critical capability. A mobile artillery unit assigned to NATO’s eFP (enhanced Forward Presence) Battle Group in Lithuania recently had a chance to fire their guns for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
The Panzer Howitzer 2000-NL self-propelled guns were used to conduct a live-fire exercise at Pabradė Training Grounds alongside their Lithuanian counterparts. With their ability to ‘shoot and scoot’ – to conduct fire missions and then quickly move to cover – mobile artillery plays a crucial role in many Allied militaries. For this exercise, forward observers from Germany and Norway helped coordinate the strikes. This NATO Multimedia footage includes shots of Panzer Howitzers from the Netherlands and Lithuania firing and moving, as well as interviews with Dutch and Lithuanian artillery commanders.
In September 2015 the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence announced that an agreement has been signed with the German MoD, concerning the procurement of 21 155 mm PzH 2000 SPHs, at that time being a property of the Bundeswehr. 16 howitzers are to have an operational status, while the remaining ones would be used for the purposes of training and as a source of spare parts. The agreement also includes procurement of 26 M577 V2 command vehicles and 6 BPZ2 technical support platforms. PzH 2000 howitzers are to be delivered to Lithuania between 2016 and 2019 (acquisition has begun already). They will be stationed in Rukla, expanding the capabilities remaining at hand of the Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion.
On May 1st, 2002 the Dutch Ministry of Defence and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) have signed the procurement contract for 57 PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers and peripheral equipment. In The Netherlands, the PzH 2000 is to replace the older systems M 114 and M 109, which no longer meet today’s battlefield requirements for artillery systems. The contract confirms the outstanding technology and user acceptance of PzH 2000 as the most modern artillery system at this time available on the world market. With PzH 2000, The Netherlands enters into the next generation of artillery performance both in technical and tactical matters.