Signing of Agreement on Procurement of German PzH 2000 Howitzers
The Assistant Defence Minister for Material Resources, Viktor Koprivnjak and the Executive Director of the German Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB), Helmut Richter on 5 December 2014 signed the Agreement of Procurement of PzH 2000 Howitzers for the Croatian Armed Forces.
The Agreement will facilitate the equipping of the Croatian Armed Forces with modern self-propelled artillery weapon (excess asset of the German Armed Forces due to re-organisation and downsizing of the artillery component) enabling indirect fire support, and thereby fulfilling of a NATO Capability Goal.
The signing ceremony was attended by the Defence Minister, Ante Kotromanović, the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Drago Lovrić, the German Ambassador to Croatia, Hans Peter Annen and the Defence Attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Jörg Rauber.
The Defence Minister expressed satisfaction over the signed Agreement and stressed the status of Germany as Croatia's strategic partner. “This has been a successful week for us, with concluded Contract on the Construction of Inshore Patrol Vessels and Agreement on Procurement of PhZ 2000 Howitzers. This Agreement will provide us with the high-performance artillery which will significantly increase our capabilities“, said the Minister, who emphasised the wise resource management policy of the Ministry of Defence. In 2014 we also planned the procurement of two minehunters and lorries from the Federal Republic of Germany, while the plan for 2015 envisages U.S. helicopters.
Assistant Defence Minister for Material Resources, Viktor Koprivnjak stated that six operationally capable PzH Howitzers would be delivered in the course of 2015, and the remaining six by the end of 2016. "We have allocated a sum of 41 mil EUR (including VAT) for the overall project of equipping the Croatian Armed Forces with self-propelled howitzers under the Agreement signed today, which also includes the costs of their fitting (the operator training, servicing, new software upgrade, paint and inscription fitting) for the use by our forces“, concluded the Assistant Minister.
"The Howitzers procured through the Agreement constitute a state-of the-art weapon meeting all the criteria of modern-day artillery systems. The Agreement's added value is that it enables us acquire the required capabilities set in the Long-term Plan of Development of the Croatian Armed Forces, who will prove their status as the most advanced and best prepared military of the region“, said the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Drago Lovrić.
The Executive Director of the German Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement, Helmut Richter also praised the concluded agreement and the co-operation of the two Governments.
The PzH 2000 Howitzer is a self-propelled weapon with a high firing capability and is the cutting-edge product of the category; with the 155-mm calibre L 52 gun, high mobility and simultaneous impact of two rounds under 2 seconds.
The Howitzers will be introduced by 2019 in accordance with the draft Long-term Development Plan of the Croatian Armed Forces in the period 2015-2024.
Prior to the delivery the Howitzers will undergo the necessary servicing and fitting (including the installation of the communications equipment and of the latest fire control system, paint and the inscription touch-up).
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