NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has agreed to provide its complete support to update the PzH2000 self-propelled 155mm howitzers being procured by Lithuania from Germany.

The update support was announced by head of the department of weaponry and control systems Artur Plokšto at a session of the Land Combat Vehicles (LCV) Support Partnership of the NSPA, held in Luxembourg.

At the session, Lithuania joined the howitzer user project after an unanimous agreement was reached between participating countries Croatia, Italy, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands.

Representing Lithuania at the session, Plokšto said the howitzers would be updated, C2 systems installed and full operational capability reached on time.

"Plokšto said the howitzers would be updated, C2 systems installed and full operational capability reached on time."

For the PzH2000 project, NSPA support will include supply, procurement, maintenance, technical/engineering services, technical training, configuration management, transportation, in-country training and on-site support, among others.

On 29 September, the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defence reached an agreement on the procurement of the PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers.

As part of the deal, Lithuania will acquire 2,155mm self-propelled howitzers, 16 of which will be used for combat purposes, while two will be used to train firing and driving skills.

The remaining three howitzers are slated to be dismantled for spare parts.

The country’s armed forces will also receive 26 M577 V2 armoured command post vehicles and six BPZ2 recovery tanks.

Lithuania will receive the first shipment of the howitzers in 2016, with the rest being delivered by 2019.

The new howitzers will be used by the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf, based in Rukla, which currently operates 105mm howitzers with an effective range of 11km.

With the PzH2000 howitzer, the battalion is expected to destroy targets at the range of 40km.

Image: Lithuania to procure the PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers from the Bundeswehr. Photo: courtesy of the Federal Ministry of Defence.