Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that it was awarded an approximately $125 million (NIS 460 million) contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defense to supply fully automatic self-propelled howitzer gun systems to the Israeli Defense Forces (“IDF”). The contract, which also includes the supply of training simulators, will be performed over a 12-year period. The Israeli Ministry of Defense and Elbit Systems intend that further part of the automatic howitzer gun systems program, under an additional contract to the Company in an amount that is expected to be material, will be performed by various U.S. companies including Elbit Systems of America, LLC, subject to completion of the receipt of applicable governmental approvals for the U.S. content. About half the work will be done by Elbit’s subsidiaries and partners in the United States, a sign of how Israeli defense spending has shifted since Washington restricted its ally’s ability to spend US aid on non-US products.
The new automatic howitzer gun system is based on ATMOS (Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System) and experience Elbit Systems accumulated over decades of supplying artillery systems to numerous armed forces. The new howitzer gun system will replace the aging M-109 artillery guns that have been serving the IDF for the past 40 years. The new gun system automatically selects the required projectile, propellant and fuze, loads them and lays the gun to optimally engage targets. The new howitzer gun system will enhance the effectiveness of the artillery formation of the IDF while reducing the number soldiers in each platform and significantly reduce life-cycle costs. ATMOS is a 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled gun system manufactured by Israeli military manufacturer Soltam Systems (Elbit Systems). The system is long range, fast moving, truck mounted with a high firepower and mobility, rapid deployment, short response time, operable in all terrain areas. Highly adaptable, the modular ATMOS system is compatible with any 6×6 or 8×8 high-mobility tactical truck.