Germany and the Netherlands have signed an agreement for the joint mid-life upgrade of their 155mm PzH 2000 howitzers.
The project will tackles the aging of components and ensure the self-propelled howitzers stay in service until the 2040s.
In the first stage of the project, Germany will upgrade 121 vehicles while the Netherlands will initially upgrade 25 vehicles. There are options for additional Dutch howitzers to be modernized at a later stage, the Dutch defense ministry said.
The overhaul will include a new electronic architecture, a new climate system and energy supply and improvements in vision for the driver. The armor is also being improved.
A prototype is being built for both countries that should be available for testing in 2025. The approach to the Dutch fleet is expected to take 2 years and must be completed in the course of 2028.
The Dutch defense ministry noted that the projects was a necessary undertaking as more and more parts are no longer available, which puts the deployability of the PzH 2000 under pressure.
The PzH 2000 with a 155mm L52 main gun and a rate of fire of three rounds in 9 seconds is one of the most popular howitzers produced and is in service with eight countries.