Israel’s Elbit Systems has started delivering the Soltam ATMOS 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers for the Philippine Army.
Philippine defense page MaxDefense Philippines first posted photos of made confirmation of the arrival of at least 8 ATMOS 155mm/52 caliber mobile firing units, plus an undetermined number of support vehicles at Subic Bay Port, north of Manila as of 30 December 2021.
The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) ordered 2 batteries worth of artillery systems in 2020 from Elbit Systems under a PHP2.386 billion (US$122 million) Government-to-Government contract with Israel’s Ministry of Defense.
The ATMOS self-propelled howitzers will be assigned with the Philippine Army’s 1st and 2nd Field Artillery 155mm Self-Propelled Batteries, which according to the Philippine Army, will be incorporated into a future 1st 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer Battalion.
The ATMOS artillery system are the Philippine Army’s first self-propelled howitzers in almost 70 years, with the service having the World War 2-era M7 Priest 105mm self-propelled gun in the 1950s.
It is believed that the Philippine Army is planning to acquire additional units under its modernization plan for 2023-2028.
Elbit Systems’ Soltam ATMOS is described as a highly versatile, high mobility, high performance artillery system, which can be made into multiple configuration including mounting on any 6×6 or 8×8 in-service truck, capable of rapid deployment and first round fire within 30 seconds, and capable of firing NATO-compatible 155mm ammunition.
It can be integrated with smart ammunition, complete electronics suite, command and control at all levels, and can be made fully-compatible with the customer’s exisitng C4I system.
Maximum range of 40 kilometers can be attained using the ERFB-BB ammunition with suitable propellant charge.