Germany to Purchase 28 Howitzers to Replenish Stockpiles Sent to Ukraine
Germany plans to acquire up to 28 self-propelled howitzers to replenish stockpiles diminished by its military aid to Ukraine.
The information was first reported by Reuters, who managed to see a copy of the budget draft on Monday.
According to the document, the German defense ministry would procure at least 10 howitzers from local firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann for around 180 million euros ($194 million).
It can also exercise the option of purchasing another 18 self-propelled artillery systems.
A decision on the planned acquisition is expected to be released by parliament after a budget committee hearing on Wednesday.
Backfill Going ‘Far Too Slowly’
Germany has sent 14 howitzers to Ukraine to help its forces counter Russian aggression.
The first batch of seven Panzerhaubitze 2000s was promised in May last year after the Netherlands made a similar commitment.
The German Army reportedly has 100 howitzer 2000s in service, but only 40 percent are operational.
Defence Minister Boris Pistorius originally planned to request replacements in the summer but decided to make it earlier after criticism that backfilling was going “far too slowly.”
The Panzerhaubitze Howitzer
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s Panzerhaubitze 2000 is a 155-millimeter howitzer based on components of the Leopard 2 tank.
It has a length of 12 meters (39 feet) and features a 986-horsepower MTU 881 diesel engine, allowing it to travel up to 41 miles (65.9 kilometers) per hour.
Described by the company as the “benchmark” for modern barreled artillery, the Panzerhaubitze 2000 can neutralize targets at a distance of 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) using standard ammunition and 100 kilometers (62 miles) with advanced ammunition.