Croatia seeks PzH 2000 purchase
Igor Tabak, Zagreb - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
20 July 2014
Croatia is looking to purchase 12 PzH 2000 artillery systems from ex-German stocks. Dutch PzH 2000 pictured in Afghanistan. Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defence
Croatia's plans to purchase PzH 2000 155 mm tracked self-propelled artillery systems received a substantial boost on 14 July when the Defence Committee of the Croatian Parliament moved to support their acquisition.
Although this committee deliberated in a closed session, media reported that Croatia is interested in purchasing 12 PzH 2000s. The second-hand systems are about a decade old and valued in the region of EUR41 million (USD55.4 million) in total. This sum is set to be financed between 2014 and 2018, which corresponds to the official timeframe stated beforehand by the Croatian Ministry of Defence (MoD).
This comes after Croatian Minister of Defence Ante Kotromanovic stated on 10 July, that the PzH 2000 was crucial for the fulfilment of an artillery related NATO capability goal, one of a total of 42 that Croatia agreed to in 2013.
Therefore this purchase got proclaimed as one of the "capital projects" by the Croatian MoD in mid-March of this year - while at the same time additional financing was earmarked for this purpose during the rebalancing of the 2014 budget. As proclaimed by Visnja Tafra, Croatian deputy minister of defence: "The amount of HRK15.5 million (USD2.75 million) will be redistributed for the purchase of the PzH 2000, as part of a multi-year financing effort. Although HRK10 million was planned for this purpose in the budget, here we add an additional HRK15.5 million - to end at a total of HRK25.5 million."
Talk of a Croatian PzH 2000 purchase began in mid-2013. At the time it was said that Croatia was interested in 18 such weapons from a 'strategic partner', with the price tag of around HRK200 million. From the beginning it was clear that any such procurement would have to rely on multi-year financing, while a public procurement request was also expected.
This notion became more substantial in November 2013, with the Croatian MoD incorporating the PzH 2000 financing into its 2014 budgetary proposals. HRK10 million was marked as the first instalment for this purpose - a sum that was soon to expand substantially. Further talks on the subject were held during January, between the representatives of the Croatian and German ministries of defence, with a presentation of the PzH 2000 technical and tactical features held.