Elbit Systems from Israel to develop SIGMA 155 a new 155mm 10x10 self-propelled howitzer
In May 2019, the Israeli Government has announced a $125 million contract of a planned 12-year, $280 million program to replace tracked self-propelled howitzers M109 in service with the Israeli armed forces. The international defense website Janes has released a picture on July 29, 2021, showing the SIGMA 155, a new wheeled self-propelled howitzer designed by the Israeli company Elbit Systems that could replace Israeli army M109 howitzers.
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Artist rendering of new Elbit Systems SIGMA 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer. (Picture source Elbit Systems via Twitter account Janes)
Like many armies in the world, Israel would like to replace tracked howitzers with wheeled howitzer which is lighter and can be deployed by fast reaction units using military transport aircraft. It also offers a high level of mobility and simplified logistics.
The U.S. Army has also launched a program to acquire a new mobile artillery system for its brigades equipped with Stryker wheeled armored vehicles, which are currently equipped with towed 155mm M777 howitzers. The Israeli company Elbit Systems with its ATMOS (Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System), a truck-mounted 155mm howitzer is one of the candidates for the U.S. Army program.
According to Janes, the new SIGMA 155mm will be based on the LVSR 10x10 military truck manufactured by the American company Oshkosh Defense. The LVSR is a family of trucks, based on a common 5-axle ten-wheel drive 10x10 chassis, that can be configured according to mission requirements.
According to the Army Recognition editorial team analysis of the picture released by Janes, the crew cab mounted at the front of the truck seems to be armored to provide protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell splinter.
The turret mounted at the rear of the truck chassis will be remotely controlled and is armed with a 155 mm/52 caliber barrel. The design of the turret suggests that the SIGMA 155 will be also equipped with a fully automatic loading system.
The crew cab can accommodate all the operators of the artillery system that include a crew of two or three people. All the firing operations can be performed from inside of the crew cabin. In firing position, two hydraulically operated spades mounted on each side of the truck chassis are lowered on the ground to stabilize the vehicle. The blades can be retracted after the firing operations and leave the position.