The German government has finally agreed to sell Ukraine a large batch of 155-mm PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. But the contract with the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) company for 100 vehicles, estimated at €1.7 billion, is designed for several years to pick up and deliver such a large batch of howitzers in the short term, KMW simply will not be able to.
In fact, this agreement Spiegel writes about, not much different from the agreement which was discussed at the beginning of April, even the amount of the contract matches. At that time, when heavy equipment was needed by the Armed Forces already now, there was talk of supplying self-propelled guns in 2024-27, which of course caused some irritation of the Ukrainians.
In April, KMW promised to deliver the first 30 PzH 2000 self-propelled guns only 30 months after the signing of the agreement, that is, no earlier than 2024. There is no reason to believe that the company will be able to significantly accelerate production immediately, so 2024 should be considered, at best the second half of 2023. the beginning of the supply of PzH 2000. But, even if Russia surrenders by then, howitzers will not be superfluous with such a neighbor. Moreover, the supply of Soviet-caliber projectiles has been exhausted not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe, so the transition to the 155-mm caliber is simply inevitable.
We will remind that Ukraine has already concluded agreements for the supply of 16 units of 155-mm self-propelled guns ZUZANA from Slovakia and 50 newest 155-mm AHS Krab self-propelled guns from Poland, that is, we are talking about the supply of 166 self-propelled howitzers of 155-mm caliber, and this without taking into into account the equipment already provided by Western partners.
As of the end of July, the Armed Forces of Ukraine already uses 15 PzH 2000 self-propelled guns, five of which were provided by the Netherlands and ten by Germany.
Specification of the PzH 2000 SpGH
Weight – 55.3 tons
Length – 11.7 m
Width – 3.6 m
Height – 3.1 m
Crew – 5 (commander, driver, gunner, 2 chargers)
Main armament – a 155-mm Rheinmetall L52 gun
Ammunition – 60 shells
Rate of fire – 3 rounds in 9.0 seconds (burst), 10 rounds per minute
Effective firing range:
Conventional shells – 30-36 km
Base bleed – 40-47 km
Impulse-reaction projectiles – 67 km
Secondary armament – 7.62 mm Rheinmetall MG3 machine gun
Engine – an MTU 881 Ka-500 diesel
Power – 986 hp.
Operational range – 420 km
Speed on the highway – 60 km/h