Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte said that his country could no longer supply Ukraine with the Panzerhaubitzen 2000 armored howitzer, since investments in its own armed forces are needed, Ukrinform reported on May 19.
“We are at the limit of what is possible,” Rutte said at a joint briefing with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
He also thanked the German government for its contribution to the Ukrainian war effort, noting that between the two countries, they have pledged 12 Panzerhaubitzen 2000 howitzers to Ukraine, five of which are provided by the Netherlands.
These weapons are not yet in use with the Ukrainian military as further training is needed.
“First, the proper training of Ukrainian soldiers with these “complex” weapons was crucial since they are integrated with other systems,” Rutte said.
“This cannot be learned in a few days.”
Netherlands Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, at the time, noted that consultations with Germany on the exact number of howitzers to be provided were ongoing.
On May 11, the Ukrainian military began training to use the Panzerhaubitzen 2000 self-propelled howitzers.
Ukrainian military news outlet Defense Express notes that the Panzerhaubitze 2000 its considered to have the best performance of its class.
“The PzH 2000 holds the world record for the range of a shot from a 52 caliber gun – 67 km long, made in 2019. At the same time, even an ordinary projectile fired from it can reach a distance of 30-36 km, and a counter-battery with improved ballistics - at a distance of 40-47 km,” Defense Express wrote.