Royal Netherlands Army PzH 2000NL self-propelled howitzer
Royal Netherlands Army PzH 2000NL self-propelled howitzer

Raytheon Awarded $20 Million Excalibur Projectiles Modification Contract for Royal Netherlands Army

Raytheon Co. Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a $20,309,493 modification to contract for procurement of Excalibur 155 mm Increment Ib projectiles. The Netherlands Ministry of Defense is purchasing Raytheon Excalibur Ib 155mm artillery rounds for its PZH 2000 self-propelled howitzers under a previously announced Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement. The contract began March 2021 with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2023. The Royal Netherlands Army is the second European customer to buy the Excalibur Ib after Swedish Army.

The U.S. has given its nod for the sale of 199 Excalibur guided artillery rounds and related equipment to Netherlands for an estimated cost of $40.55 million. Also included with this request is U.S. Government technical assistance, training, associated support equipment, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The U.S. Army has determined this munition is fully compatible with the PzH 2000, a self-propelled Germany-produced howitzer used by several countries. When fired from the Dutch PzH 2000 artillery system, Excalibur can fly up to 50 kilometers.

PzH 2000NL
Royal Netherlands Army soldiers prepare Excalibur precision-guided ammunition for firing with PzH 2000NL self-propelled howitzer. (Photo by Netherlands Ministry of Defense)

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. PzH 2000 has also been selected by the armies of Italy, Netherlands, Greece, Lithuania, Hungary, Qatar and Croatia, mostly replacing older systems like the M109 howitzers. On May 1st, 2002 Netherlands Ministry of Defence have signed the procurement contract for 57 PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers and peripheral equipment for its operation in the Royal Netherlands Army.

The Royal Netherlands Army will receive Excalibur Increment IB tactical projectiles with the American designation M982AI. The M982 Excalibur (previously XM982) is a 155 mm extended range guided artillery shell manufactured by prime contractor Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems AB. It is a GPS and inertial-guided munition capable of being used in close support situations within 75–150 meters (250–490 ft) of friendly troops or in situations where targets might be prohibitively close to civilians to attack with conventional unguided artillery fire.

Royal Netherlands Army PzH 2000NL self-propelled howitzer
Royal Netherlands Army soldiers fired Excalibur precision-guided ammunition from PzH 2000NL self-propelled howitzer. (Photo by Netherlands Ministry of Defense)

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