Elbit Systems delivers first Soltam ATMOS self-propelled howitzers to Philippine Army

On May 20, 2020, Army Recognition reported that the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) had released the Notice to Proceed (NTP) for the acquisition of 2 batteries of Elbit Soltam ATMOS 155mm/52cal Self-Propelled Howitzer systems under the service's 155mm Howitzer, Self-Propelled System Acquisition Project. The Israeli manufacturer has now delivered 12 of them, Frances Mangosing reports on Inquirer.net.
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Elbit Systems Soltam ATMOS 2000 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer displayed at Eurosatory 2014 defense exhibition. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

A technical inspection and acceptance procedure for the artillery systems was scheduled in the third week of January for the 12 units and one crane that arrived in December 2021, Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad told Inquirer.net.

Since the contract states that Elbit Systems should deliver all the SPHs within 24 months, that means the Philippine Army should expect delivery of the remaining artillery systems before April 2022.

The Philippine Army had ordered two batteries from Elbit Systems for a contract price of P2.4 billion through a government-to-government deal with Israel. This will be the first time that the Army would operate brand new self-propelled howitzer systems.

The Soltam ATMOS is a 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured by Soltam Systems, now a subdivision of Elbit Systems. It is the latest generation of artillery systems in the ATMOS family. It is based on a 6x6 chassis fitted with a 155mm/39, 45 or 52 caliber barrel and has a maximum firing range of 41 km by using an Extended Range Full Bore Base Bleed (ERFB-BB) projectile. It is operated by a crew of four or six, including two loaders.