The Lithuanian Armed Forces will fire the first shots from the self-propelled PzH 2000 howitzers acquired from Germany at home in a military exercise on Tuesday.

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Self-propelled PzH 2000 howitzer

Live-firing at sea surface targets will take place at the General Povilas Plechavicius training area in the district of Klaipėda as part of the Flaming Thunder exercise.

"(The PzH 2000 howitzers) will be fired for the first time in Lithuania. The American Paladin howitzers were fired last year and today will not be the first time, but the PzH 2000 howitzers, our latest acquisition, will be fired for the first time," Major Ernestas Gaigalas, commander of the Juozas Lukša Training Centre of the Lithuanian Land Force, told BNS.

"The firing will be done during the exercise not only by us, but also by our German colleagues, who have exactly the same howitzers," he said.

Under a contract signed in September 2015, Lithuania acquired 53 pieces of military equipment from the German Armed Forces, including 16 PzH 2000 howitzers, 26 M577 V2 armoured command vehicles and six BPZ2 recovery tanks.

The acquisition and modernization of the military equipment will cost Lithuania almost €60 million in total.

The first of the howitzers were delivered to Lithuania in late June, with the rest expected to come by 2019.

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