The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) is set to conclude its planned procurement of 2 batteries of Elbit Soltam ATMOS 155mm/52cal Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) for the Philippine Army under the service’s 155mm Howitzer, Self-Propelled System Acquisition Project. In early April, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana issued a “notice to proceed” (NTP) , Elbit Systems Land & C4I, to proceed with producing the artillery systems, and is the basis of the delivery schedule
The self-propelled howitzer will be acquired by the Philippine Army (PA), which will operate the systems through two batteries initiated under its Army Artillery Regiment (AAR) in January 2020. It confirmed that the ATMOS contract has a value of USD47.2 million (PHP2.386 billion) and features the supply and delivery of 12 units. Since the contract states that Elbit Systems should deliver all the products in 24 months, that means the Philippine Army should expect delivery of the ATMOS artillery systems before April 2022.
The ATMOS is a 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured by Israeli company Soltam Systems now a subdivision of Elbit Systems. This artillery system is based on 6×6 military truck chassis that can be armed with 155mm 39, 45 and 52 caliber barrels. With a 155 mm/52 barrel, a 41 km maximum range can be achieved, using Extended Range Full-Bore – Base Bleed (ERFB-BB) projectile, 30 km firing the NATO L15 High Explosive (HE) projectile and 24.5 km firing the older M107 HE projectile.
It is operated by a crew of four or six, including two loaders. The ATMOS is fitted with a 155 mm/52 calibre ordnance which conforms to NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU). The breech mechanism is horizontal sliding which automatically opens to the right with a self-sealing metal obturating ring. The buffer is a cylinder hydraulic with a hydro-pneumatic recuperator. Recoil length is variable from 850 to 1,100 mm with two pneumatic equilibrators. Weapon elevation and traverse are all hydraulic and computer controlled.