Philippine army deploys two batteries of Atmos 155mm self-propelled howitzers in Mindanao

The Philippine Army has deployed its new Israeli-built Atmos 155mm self-propelled howitzers to Western Mindanao, Frances Mangosing reports in Defense department officer in charge Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. and Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. led the send-off ceremony on September 21 for two batteries of four howitzers each at Fort Bonifacio, in Taguig City.
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Two batteries in Western Mindanao are each getting four Atmos 155mm self-propelled howitzers (Picture source: Facebook page of the Philippine Army)

The Atmos will be operated by the 10th Field “Rolling Thunder” Battalion of the Army Artillery Regiment (AAR), Frances Mangosing reports. The remaining battery will stay at the AAR headquarters in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija. Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad told the Inquirer that this would be the first time the Army will operate brand-new truck-mounted howitzers.

On May 20, 2020, Army Recognition reported that the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) had released the Notice to Proceed (NTP) for the acquisition of 2 batteries of Elbit Soltam Atmos 155mm/52cal Self-Propelled Howitzers under the service's 155mm Howitzer, Self-Propelled System Acquisition Project. In December 2021, Elbit Systems completed the delivery of three batteries totaling 12 Atmos under a government-to-government deal between the Philippines and Israel.

The Atmos 2000 is a 155mm truck-mounted wheeled self-propelled howitzer that was designed by the Israeli company Soltam Systems. The first information about the vehicle was released in 2001. It is operated by a crew of six and is armed with a 155 mm/L52 gun-howitzer. The Atmos can fire all standard 155mm NATO ammunition. It has a maximum firing range of 30 km with standard HE (High Explosive) projectile and 41 km with extended-range projectile and 56 km with the newly-developed rocket-assisted projectile.