Sep 29, 2015 by Richard Tomkins(UPI)
Lithuania on Tuesday signed an agreement to procure 21 PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers from the German Armed Forces.
The deal for the 155mm guns, as well as vehicles and other equipment, is worth nearly $65 million.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Defense said 16 of the guns will be usable for combat purposes, two will be used for training firing and driving skills, and three for spare parts.
"The changed geopolitical situation and lessons learned from the conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine have made the Lithuanian Armed Forces prioritize an efficient fire support to maneuver units on the course of its development," said Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas. "Looking for solution, we turned to Germany, our ally, and its understanding and good will has helped us come up with a compromise on the procurement on one of the most modern self-propelled howitzers in the world within a particularly short time.
"That is a clear demonstration that Germany understands the reasons behind our security concerns and is sending a clear signal that it stands firmly by Lithuania."
The other equipment being purchased from Germany includes 26 M577 V2 armored command vehicles and six BPZ2 recovery tanks.
Also included in the deal is training for Lithuanian troops who will use the self-propelled howitzers, which will begin to arrive in Lithuania next year.