Germany’s planning error keeps Ukrainian PzH 2000s unusable
BERLIN ($1=0.97 Euros) — “Cannibalism” in the military industry means when you have to take an operationally ready weapon from your stockpile, disassemble it and use it for spare parts.
- Germany has no tanks – where did the Leopard 2s for Poland disappear?
- German PzH 2000s in Ukraine wear out: error message after heavy fire
- KMW agreed to produce 100 PzH 2000 155mm howitzers for Ukraine
BulgarianMilitary.com wrote some time ago about alleged cannibalism. He came as an assumption from Poland. Then Warsaw accused Berlin that the German Ministry of Defense could not fulfill its commitment. For the almost 200 T-72 tanks donated by Poland to Ukraine, Germany had to supply Poland with Leopard 2A4 tanks.
According to Polish analyzes and comments, Germany does not have the necessary amount of Leopard 2A4, because in recent years a part of the stored amount has been “cannibalized” in the maintenance of German battle tanks placed on operational readiness.
It is apparently a practice in Germany to cannibalize weapons. It became clear, according to Spiegel, that one PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer was cannibalized to provide spare parts for six PzH 2000 delivered to Ukraine. This happened in Lithuania after the six units arrived from the front.
German industry has no spare parts in stock, writes Spiegel. German media speculated that this was due to a planning error. Thus, the operational capabilities of the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers delivered to Ukraine are at risk. Berlin supplied Kyiv with 14 self-propelled howitzers of this type.
The federal government has been unable to order spare parts. But the emergence of this problem was known to the government in Berlin. It is understood that this summer the supply office in the Bundeswehr issued a warning to the Ministry of Defense that these howitzers, along with the Mars III rocket launchers, needed spare parts. The warning was unsuccessful, Spiegel wrote.
Intelligence information reaches the Bundeswehr daily. Spiegel says in his commentary that the German Ministry of Defense knows that the Ukrainians fire 300 shells a day. This puts a strain on the weapon system and causes spare parts to wear out too quickly.
The problem of the lack of spare parts can turn out to be much more serious than assumed. Spiegel is not the first to write about the delayed use of the PzH 2000. In July, for example, the German media reported, citing its sources, that during intense shelling, the fire control system gave an error. The fault comes from the self-propelled howitzer’s loading mechanism, which is under enormous stress.
Berlin must know very well that the Ukrainian armed forces are intensively using their donated artillery. The PzH 2000 is not a precedent. Recently, BulgarianMilitary.com wrote that within a few months, the crew of an American-supplied M777 towed howitzer changed the howitzer barrel four times.
Similar reports concern other supplied artillery weapons, such as the French Caesar self-propelled howitzer, the American M109 howitzer, the Polish Krab howitzer, and the Italian-supplied FH70 howitzer.
German experts are already sending alarming reports to Berlin. The lack of spare parts for the PzH 2000 has already paralyzed the so-called repair center that Germany wants to set up in Slovakia by mid-December to repair the weapons delivered there.
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