Germany to deliver Ukraine with more PzH 2000 155mm howitzers and MARS II rocket launchers

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The German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced a new batch of military aid to Ukraine, on Tuesday, October 25, 2022. Germany will soon provide two more units of MARS 2 rocket artillery systems and four units of Pzh2000 tracked self-propelled artillery systems.

Few days ago, germany has delivered Ukraine with a fresh new batch of IRIS-T SLM air defense missile systems.

Earlier, germany supplied some units of the Pzh2000 and MARS II rocket launchers to Ukraine.

According to iq.direct, the German Army is armed with the MARS 2 Rocket artillery systems, this tracked launcher is actually an analogue of the American M270 MLRS, albeit with minor modifications. The KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann) concern integrated the overseas “brother” at the request of the German army, in particular by increasing its size and mass.

The MARS II anti-aircraft missile system is designed to destroy concentrations of enemy manpower and equipment, artillery batteries, air defense equipment, command posts and communication nodes, as well as for remote mining of terrain. It consists of a launcher mounted on the tracked chassis of the American infantry fighting vehicle M2 Bradley, unguided missiles of caliber 240 mm, fire control equipment and a transport vehicle.

The artillery part of the German MLRS has two disposable containers of six fiberglass guide tubes each, mounted in a box-shaped armored case. The containers are mounted on a crawler chassis on a rotary platform. Charging mechanisms are assembled on the same chassis. Moreover, the installation and sealing of transport and launch containers is carried out at the manufacturing plant. Containers are reloaded in a horizontal position of the artillery unit.

The cabin of the crew of the MARS II anti-aircraft missile system, consisting of three people – the commander, driver and gunner – has a system of collective protection against weapons of mass destruction with a filter ventilation unit. Fire control equipment is also located in the cabin.

The MARS II multiple rocket launcher system uses unguided missiles with cluster warheads or cluster warheads. The cluster warhead consists of AT-2 anti-tank mines for remote mining of terrain. The weight of the rocket is 107 kg, the flight range is 40 km. The cumulative combat element penetrates homogeneous armor up to 140 mm thick.

Instead, unguided missiles with a cumulative warhead have a flight range of 32 km and a weight of 159 kg. The warhead is equipped with 644 M77 cumulative fragmentation elements, which have an armor penetration of up to 40 mm of homogeneous armor. In turn, the TGW anti-tank unguided missile is equipped with homing warheads and is designed for a flight range of up to 45 km. Her weight is 107 kg. By the way, 60 seconds are enough for MARS II to launch all 12 missiles.

This MLRS is equipped with a new European fire control system, which allows firing GMLRS guided missiles, which are capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 70 km. Missiles manage to deliver accurate strikes due to the presence of an improved global positioning system (GPS guidance) with an antenna that is more resistant to interference.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine has been already provided with more than ten systems of the M270 MLRS by United Kingdom, Norway and Germany.

Now talking about the Pzh2000 Self-propelled howitzer, it is a German 155 mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall in the 1980s and 1990s for the German Army. It is capable of a very high rate of fire; in burst mode it can fire three rounds in nine seconds, ten rounds in 56 seconds, and can—depending on barrel heating—fire between 10 and 13 rounds per minute continuously.

The PzH 2000 has automatic support for up to five rounds of Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI). Replenishment of shells is automated. Two operators can load 60 shells and propelling charges in less than 12 minutes. The PzH 2000 equips the armies of Italy, Ukraine, Netherlands, Greece, Lithuania, Hungary, Qatar and Croatia, mostly replacing older systems such as the M109 howitzer.

The Western Countries has already delivered more than 22 units of the Pzh2000 to Ukraine.

Pzh2000 performance in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War

On 21 June 2022, twelve Panzerhaubitze 2000s were deployed to Ukraine; seven came from Germany and five from the Netherlands. After a couple of weeks of intensive use, the guns required repairs, as they are designed and built to fire no more than 100 shots a day. This came about due to error messages that were being displayed. Ukraine has also fired “special ammunition at too great a distance.” Germany considers 100 shots a day “a high-intensity mission”. Ukraine has constantly exceeded this number. This has stressed the loading mechanism. The Bundeswehr has sent spare parts while a repair facility in Poland is being established to repair the weapons. This comes as Ukraine and KMW enter into a 1.7 billion euro deal to purchase 100 PzH 2000s.

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