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“Today’s presentation launches the delivery of this powerful weapon worth some 55 mil EUR, which will improve significantly the artillery capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces and place it among the best equipped artillery forces in NATO“, said the Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević
The first two delivered PzH 2000 Howitzers procured from the Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany were presented in the Croatian Armed Forces’ Maintenance Depot in Zagreb on 13 April 2017. Twelve out of a total of 16 German-produced howitzers will be in the operational service, one howitzer will be used for training while the remaining three will be kept for spare parts. Expressing satisfaction over the introduction of the PzH2000 howitzers into the Croatian Armed Forces, Minister er Damir Krstičević stated “Today’s presentation launches the delivery of this powerful weapon worth some 55 mil EUR, which will improve significantly the artillery capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces and place it among the best equipped artillery forces in NATO…The Federal Republic of Germany is a strategic partner of the Republic of Croatia, and the two countries share the same goals“
The Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Assembly Mirko Šundov underlined the importance of the introduction of the procured howitzers into the operational service as they “multiply the fire power and significantly upgrade the level of equippedness of the Croatian Armed Forces, placing them among the best equipped militaries in NATO and beyond…The self-propelled howitzers enhance the Croatian Armed Forces’ capabilities for deterrence and efficient response to any threat posed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia; the capabilities whereby Croatia contributes to international security and stability”, said General Šundov.
The project “Equipping the Croatian Armed Forces with the PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers” was incepted by an agreement signed between the Ministry of Defence of the Reoublic of Croatia and the Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany in late 2014, aimed at equipping the Croatian Armed Forces with the 155-mm L52 artillery systems effective at the ranges exceeding 40 km, using assisted projectiles and is capable of multiple rounds simultaneous impact. The project meets the needs of modernisation and equipment of the Croatian Army with state-of-the-art self-propelled artillery weapons and enables fulfilling of the assumed NATO capability targets. The first two delivered howitzers will be housed in the Training Range “Eugen Kvaternik” near Slunj and the Training Range “Cerovec“ near Karlovac.
As stipulated in the Agreement the delivery of the remainder of the howitzers is due by the end of 2017.
The PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers were manufactured by the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) Rheinmetall of Germany. The length is 11.70m, the width 3.5 m, the height 3.46 m and weight 55 tons. They are attended by crews of three (commander, gunner, driver) which can be reinforced by two more members (gunner and ammunition loader). The main armament consists in the Rheinmetall 155-mm L52 long-range artillery gun with elevation range from -2.5 to 65 degrees and the traverse range of 360 degrees and the maximum rate of fire is 8-10 rpm. The fire range with standard projectiles is 30 km, and if using rocket-assisted projectiles can reach up to 80 km. The PzH2000 howitzer is a self-propelled and high-power modern NATO artillery weapon. It boasts high mobility and multiple rounds (as many as five shells engaging the target simultaneously).
Acquired capability of swift and efficient artillery support
By procuring the PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers the Croatian Armed Forces have met the requirements for modernisation and equipment of the Croatian Army units with modern self-propelled artillery weapons capable of providing indirect fire support and the use of precision-guided munitions, which is one of the assumed NATO capability targets. The project provides the Croatian Armed Forces with the capability of swift and efficient artillery support, employing state-of-the-art fire control systems and technology to detect targets.