Pantserhouwitzer 2000 (Dutch designation)
1986 - 1996
1997 - present
Germany - Krauss-Maffei Wegmann
- UNIT COST
Very long range
High rate of fire
High level of protection
The PzH 2000 is a modern self-propelled howitzer of German origin. The PzH 2000 was developed at the request of the German military following the cancellation of the SP-70 project. PzH 2000 stands for Panzerhaubitze 2000, or self propelled gun 2000 in English. Two consortia set out to develop prototypes in 1986. The first consortium was headed by Krauss-Maffei and the second by Wegmann. In 1990 the contract was awarded to Wegmann and testing and improvement lasted until 1996.
The layout of the PzH 2000 is conventional. The engine is mounted at the front with the turret and ammunition in the rear. The driver is seated in the hull on the right of the engine. The rest of the crew is seated in the fighting compartment. The chassis is based on many proven components of the Leopard 1 main battle tank. The PzH 2000 is fitted with the Rheinmetall 155mm L/52 chromium lined howitzer connected to an automatic loader and Modular Charge System specifically designed for the PzH 2000. The PzH 2000 has a fully automated fire control system and has a multiple round simultaneous impact capability.
The 155mm L/52 barrel allows for long range fire. Normal unassisted ammunition may be fired up to 30 km, base bleed rounds well over 40 km depending on type. During tests a range of 56 has been achieved with the South African Assegai rocket assisted round. The fully automated loading of charges and rounds results in a very high rate of fire. With the standard 24 Volt loading system 3 rounds can be fired in 9 seconds, with the sustained rate of fire being 10 rounds per minute. The improved 48 Volt loader has an even better performance. The advanced fire control systems in conjunction with the muzzle radar gives the PzH 2000 a very high level of accuracy. A 7.62mm MG3 machine gun is mounted on the turret roof for self-defense.
For a self-propelled howitzer the PzH 2000 has a high level of armor protection while its has an all welded and relatively thick steel hull. The level of protection versus top attack weapons is very high as well, especially when fitted with additional roof armor. The PzH 2000 is operated from under armor protection. An NBC system, fire supression system and smoke grenade dischargers are fitted as standard. The survivability is further increased with its shoot and scoot ability. The PzH 2000 can start a fire mission while on the move with the first round fired only seconds after coming to a halt. The high dash speed allows the PzH 2000 to quickly leave after firing.
The mobility of the PzH 2000 is quite good for such a heavy vehicle. The tracked chassis provides a good cross country performance. A MTU 1.000 hp diesel provides propulsion, while and APU provides power when the engine is not running. Even though the power to weight ratio isn't very high, especially when fully loaded and fitted with additional roof armor, the dash speed remains high.
The PzH 2000 is used by various European nations, with the main user being Germany. Even with the increased demand for lightweight wheeled self propelled howitzers the PzH 2000 sold well as it allows a larger number of Cold War era self-propelled howitzer to be replaced.
The PzH 2000 is a modern self-propelled howitzer. It is fitted with a 155mm L/52 gun connected to an automatic loading mechanism. There are no real variants, but those delivered to various nations may differ in details such as markings, roof mounted machine gun and radios. Germany fields some driver training vehicles without turret and fitted with a mock up barrel.
- PzH 2000
|Crew||5 (commander, driver, gunner, 2 loaders)|
|Length||7.30 m (hull), 11.67 m (gun forward)|
|Height||3.06 m (turret roof), 3.46 m (overall)|
|Ground clearance||0.44 m|
|Weight||55.3 t combat load|
|Ground pressure||0.98 kg/cm2|
|Wheelbase||Tracked chassis, 7 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear, 4.91 m length, 0.55 m width|
|Engine||MTU 881 diesel, 1.000 hp|
|Power ratio||18.1 hp/t|
|Transmission||Renk HSWL 284 automatic, 4 forward, 2 reverse|
|Gradient||50% gradient, 25% slope|
|Smoke||2x4 76mm smoke grenade dischargers|
|Remarks||phased array muzzle velocity radar|
|Armament||155mm L/52 howitzer|
7.62mm MG3 machine gun
|Weapon1||155mm L/52 howitzer|
60 rounds, all ready to fire
-3 to +65° elevation, powered
360° traverse, powered
|Weapon2||7.62mm MG3 machin gun on turret roof|
manual traverse and elevation