Rwanda armed forces equipped with ATMOS and PLZ-89 howitzers


On November 10, 2017, the press service of the Rwandan president Paul Kagame has released a picture showing the use of RM-70 122 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) manufactured in Czech Republic and the Chinese-made PLZ-89 122mm tracked self-propelled howitzer used by the armed forces of Rwanda during a live firing military exercise.


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Armed Forces of Rwanda use Chinese-made PLZ-89 122mm tracked self-propelled howitzer during live firing military exercise on November 10, 2017 (Source picture Paul Kagame Flickr account)


Last year, during another military exercise the Rwandan armed forces have used the Israeli-made ATMOS 155mm/52 caliber truck-mounted howitzer, none of these arms purchases appear to have been officially announced for the ATMOS and the PLZ-89.

The Type 89 also called PLZ-89 is a 122mm tracked self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured by the Chinese Company NORINCO (North Industries Corporation). The Type 89 was developed in late 1980s and was showed for the first time to the public during a military parade held in Beijing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China late 1999.

The PLZ-89 / Type 89 122mm self-propelled howitzer is fitted with a large turret mounted at the rear of an armoured tracked chassis. The turret is armed with a 122mm gun barrel developed from Type 85 122 mm howitzer, a Chinese version of the Soviet-made D-30 122mm howitzer.


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Armed Forces of Rwanda uses Israeli-made ATMOS 155mm 6x6 self-propelled howitzer during live firing military exercise on November 4, 2016 (Source picture Paul Kagame Flickr account)


The ATMOS is wheeled self-propelled howitzer truck, with on the rear part a Soltam Systems 155mm/52 caliber towed TIG 2000 system. ATMOS has been developed by the Israeli Company Soltam Systems as a private venture. Late in 2001, Soltam Systems released details of the latest version of its ATMOS 2000 155 mm/52 caliber self-propelled artillery system which was unveiled late in 1999.

The basic upper gun system is Soltam System's most modern 52 caliber NATO Standard gun system, achieving a range of 41 km. This artillery system can be mounted on 6x6 or 8x8 military truck chassis. The ATMOS howitzer carries on board 27 projectiles and charges ready to fire, and all the equipment, which are essential for operating the artillery piece efficiently and autonomously.


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