In response to Russia’s assault, Germany is debating whether to deliver PzH 2000, one of the world’s most powerful self-propelled howitzers, to Ukraine.
On May 3, German officials said that Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht had suggested moving seven Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany is examining Lambrecht’s idea, among others, but has not made a final decision.
Military officers in Germany have warned that the supply of the PzH 2000 rapid-fire artillery to Ukraine might weaken the country’s defences at a time when the country’s military capabilities have been constrained for years due to a lack of funds. According to Die Welt, the German military has 119 PzH 2000 complexes, but only 40 of them are active.
Prior to Germany, the Netherlands transferred a number of PzH 2000 complexes in service to Ukraine in April. Germany then volunteered to supply artillery ammunition as well as train Ukrainian troops to operate the PzH 2000. Germany first declined to supply Ukraine with heavy weaponry. However, Berlin changed its position after Chancellor Scholz came under intense pressure from Western partners to lend military assistance to Kiev. Scholz stated last week that Germany is “willing to do more” and will continue to supply arms to Ukraine.
On April 26, Germany announced the transfer of 50 Flakpanzer Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery systems to Ukraine. However, due to the constraints imposed by a policy of permanent neutrality, Switzerland, the country that manufactures 35 mm ammunition for the Gepard complex, refused to allow Germany to transfer this ammunition to Ukraine.
In 1987-1996, Germany developed the PzH 2000 155 mm self-propelled howitzer, which was eventually mass-produced and used in the military. The PzH 2000 is regarded as one of the most powerful grenade launchers in the world, capable of firing 9 rounds per minute.
The PzH 2000 has a range of 30-47 kilometres with standard ammo and 67 kilometres with extended range ammunition. This self-propelled cannon has a range of 420 kilometres and a top speed of 67 kilometres per hour on asphalt and 45 kilometres per hour on uneven terrain. The crew of the PzH 2000 consists of five personnel, and the gun can hold 60 rounds.