For the first time in history Lithuanian 155mm PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers were tested in a live-fire exercise conducted by soldiers of the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion.
According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence live-fire tests of 155mm PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers were conducted midst April. The event was a culmination of nearly two week long trials which took place at General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė. Exercise was performed by soldiers of the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion stationed in Rukla, part of the Iron Wolf Mechanized Infantry Brigade, and supervised by high ranking officials from Lithuanian Armed Forces.
We have followed procedures when testing the new equipment. The conditions were not easy, the firing pace was intense, but shots were accurate and final results meet our expectations. The General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion is on the track of becoming the strongest battalion in the Lithuanian Armed Forces- battalion Commander, Col. Lt. Marijus Jonelis, said after the training.
The event was the first occasion to test Lithuanian newest 155mm self-propelled howitzers, which were procured from Germany under the agreement worth of €58,3 million (250 million Polish Zloty) signed in 2015. After reaching final operational capability PzH2000s will replace currently operated 105mm M101A1 towed howitzers.
Out of 21 Lithuanian PzH2000 howitzers, which originally were operated by the German Army and eventually put in storage, 16 will be handed over to the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion. Another two vehicles will serve training purposes, while the last three will be utilised for spare parts.
The 2015 agreement also included the delivery of spare parts and training materials as well as a number of utility vehicles, such as 26 M577A2 tracked command post vehicles and six Bergepanzer 2 armoured recovery vehicles.
In December 2016 Lithuanian MoD signed a contract with the German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KWM) for modernization of 18 PzH2000s. The deal, worth about €10,5 million (45 million Polish Zloty), included replacement of legacy on-board equipment, such as combat management systems. The first batch of modernized PzH2000 howitzers was delivered to Lithuania in December 2018.