Elbit Systems US contract to provide self-propelled howitzers to Israeli army


On March 15, 2020, Elbit Systems Ltd. has announced that its U.S. subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, LLC, was awarded a $200 million contract as part of the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) automatic self-propelled howitzer gun systems program.


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The latest generation of ATMOS 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer (Picture source Elbit Systems)


Currently, the Israeli army uses two types of artillery systems including the M109 Doher which is an upgraded version of the American-made M109 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer based on the M109A5 version. Another artillery system in service with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is the Soltam M-71, a 155mm towed howitzer.

In May 2019, the Israeli government has awarded the initial, $125 million contract of a planned 12-year, $280 million program to replace its tank-like M109 howitzers that could be based on Elbit’s wheeled self-propelled howitzer ATMOS.

The first generation of ATMOS 155mm self-propelled howitzer was developed by the company Soltam Systems which is now part of Israeli Company Elbit Systems.

Elbit Systems’ ATMOS is a 155mm/52 caliber truck-mounted howitzer that offers the advantages of superior firepower, enhanced mobility and rapid response time. Highly adaptable, the modular ATMOS system is compatible with any 6x6 or 8x8 high-mobility tactical truck. ATMOS supplies fire support for all types of missions and can be easily interfaced with customers’ existing C4I system.

The ATMOS can be mounted on any adapted high mobility 6x6 or 8x8 truck chassis preferred by the customer. The protected cabin of the ATMOS is designed for a crew of 2-6 personnel, a driver, a commander, and an additional three to four crew members along with all personal equipment and small arms. The cabin is equipped with an air conditioning system that is capable of both heating and cooling. The concept behind the ATMOS can be applied to the modernization of legacy towed guns, incorporating advanced new technologies like INS, MVR, ballistic computers, C4 I, hydraulics and electrical drives.

The ATMOS is armed with a 155 mm/52 caliber ordnance which conforms to NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU). The ATMOS has a maximum firing range of 40 km with ERFB-BB ammunition and suitable propelling charge. Designed specifically for rapid deployment and operation on difficult terrain, the ATMOS’s shoot-andscoot capabilities are supported by an integrated electronic suite incorporating an INS-based laying system, as well as an automatic loading system that reduces crew effort.

The ATMOS can fire all types of qualified 155mm ammunition, projectiles and charges that are in use by NATO and other countries. On board containers store minimum of 18 rounds, including projectiles, propellants and fuzes.


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