Lithuanian and German artillery experts have started consultations to integrate the PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers into the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
Lithuania recently signed a contract with the German Armed Forces to acquire 21, 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.
In addition, the German military will supply 26 M577 V2 armoured command vehicles and six BPZ2 recovery tanks to the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
Lithuania is currently hosting a seminar where specialists from both countries will discuss organisation of a self-propelled artillery battalion, and requirements and standards for specialists and their training.
The experts are also holding talks on combat training of units of different levels, the tactics used, logistics at different levels, as well as other points concerning artillery.
Lithuanian Artillery Battalion chief of staff, major Marijus Jonelism said: "Towed 105mm howitzers currently used by the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the self-propelled 155mm howitzers procured perform the same artillery tasks, however, there are considerable differences between the two types.
"This seminar aims at identifying such differences with expert assistance so as to pave the way for a fluent integration of the new howitzers into army units and staffs."
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.The first howitzer is anticipated to be brought to Lithuania in 2016, while the remainder will arrive by 2019.
Lithuania has allocated €58.3m for the artillery enhancement project, which includes acquisition of 53 pieces of military equipment from Germany until 2019.
The remaining €42.1m is slated to be used for equipment upgrades, installation of battlefield management system and communications and control equipment, for adjusting military infrastructure for the new howitzers and to train soldiers on how to operate them.
Image: The PzH2000 howitzers are likely to be used for firing tasks both as individual units and paired, at a platoon or battery level. Photo: courtesy of the Ministry of Defence of Germany.