NATO Support & Procurement Agency (NSPA) has signed an agreement with the German KMW company, asking the entity to modernize the 155 mm PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers operated by the Lithuanian Army.
On the basis of the aforesaid agreement, KMW would modernize 16 “operational” PzH 2000 howitzers, along with two additional vehicles that would be used to train the Lithuanian crews. The modernization is going to make it possible to tailor the acquired platforms to the Lithuanian requirements. According to the Lithuanian MoD, the total value of the delivery is estimated as EUR 10.5 million.
The negotiation procedure concerning the acquisition of the surplus Bundeswehr howitzers has been taking place since the early 2015. 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, 6 BPZ2 technical support platforms, along with a training package. The transaction value is estimated to reach EUR 58.3 million. 16.2 million euros were to be paid to the Germans, while the remaining portion of the assets is destined to be used for the purpose of modernizing the new vehicles, installation of a battlefield management systems, communication suites, or in order to cover the modification of the infrastructure at the bases, and organization of the training courses.
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. Before acquiring the German cannons, the unit in question has only been using 105 mm howitzers with a range of 11 kilometres, while PzH 2000 allows the troops to act against a variety of targets at distances of up to 40 kilometres.