The 2000 self-propelled howitzer, Seven of them the government now wants to hand over to Ukraine are powerful German-made weapons. It belongs to the artillery barrel that supports the troops in battle from a distance. The gun, caliber 155 mm, is mounted on a chain-armored chassis. The self-propelled howitzer has a width of about 3.50 meters, a height of about twelve meters with a tube and can reach 60 kilometers per hour. It can load up to 60 shells. Each weighs 43 kg. Depending on the type of ammunition, they can fly up to 40 kilometers.
“You don’t want to go in there where the explosives are going off,” the SZ self-propelled howitzer said recently during a visit to the artillery unit in Lithuania. There, Germany and its soldiers are strengthening the eastern flank of NATO and leading a battle group.
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The soldier explained that no one survived in a radius of 50 metres. Several thousand fragments will destroy everything. Soldiers can also position projectiles to explode over opponents’ heads. The shrapnel also penetrated armored vehicles. Against enemy tanks, crews can use special ammunition, which automatically detects vehicles with their sensors and is able to pierce their steel.
Self-propelled howitzers aren’t very effective on their own
In addition to explosive shells, self-propelled howitzers can fire flares. On the one hand, it can place target signs, and on the other hand, it illuminates large parts of the battlefield at night. In addition, she can create smoke screens with special projectiles.
Self-propelled howitzers are not very effective on their own. A gun commander told SZ that it was just the “fist” that hit. Because they operate kilometers from the battlefield, they rely on receiving information about the type of fire and the specific target from teams of observers. Since systems are subjected to extremely high loads during use, repair and supply teams are an essential part of the unit. During an exercise in Lithuania, the Germans had to deal with technical issues with their systems because they are all about 20 years old.
subordinate 2000 self-propelled howitzers The Bundeswehr originally bought the 185. It was introduced to the force around 2000. The number of guns was originally meant to be reduced to 89 when the Bundeswehr switched to foreign missions. Mining stopped after Russia annexed Crimea. The self-propelled howitzer intended for scrapping was reactivated.
Today the Bundeswehr has 121 systems, two of which are already in museums. German woman 2000 . howitzer It was first used in Afghanistan. In July 2010, the first shots were fired in combat mode. To recover a combat vehicle after a bomb attack, the crew fired smoke grenades to obscure the Taliban’s view. But over the years, the use of artillery in external operations has remained the exception.
Guns don’t come from active troop inventory
The artillery force has gotten smaller with each reform since the reunification. During the Cold War it had 42,000 soldiers – today there are 3,500. There were 81 fully equipped artillery battalions – it grew to 34, then 20, then five. Four left today.
At the end of April, Lieutenant-General Kai Rorschneider, head of the Department of Armed Forces Management of the Federal Ministry of Defense, said that the German army had a “recognized lack” of artillery. “We need every gun.” The ministry has now admitted that only 40 self-propelled howitzers are in service.
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (Social Democratic Party) confirmed that arms delivery to Ukraine would only be approved if it did not weaken the German army. The spokesman now clarified that the weapons did not come from the inventory of active forces, but from the set of systems that are currently being repaired. “The decision will be taken in close consultation based on a proposal and with the express support of the inspector general,” the spokesman added. But the whole picture also includes: artillery forces are also waiting for every gun that returns from repair.