Philippines will acquire two batteries of Elbit Soltam ATMOS 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers

According to information published on the MaxDefense Philippines Facebook account on May 1, 2020, the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) has released the Notice to Proceed (NTP) for the acquisition of 2 batteries of Elbit Soltam ATMOS 155mm/52cal Self-Propelled Howitzer systems for the Philippine Army under the service's 155mm Howitzer, Self-Propelled System Acquisition Project.

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Elbit Systems Soltam ATMOS 2000 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer at Eurosatory defense exhibition in June 2014. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The NTP (Notice to Proceed ) is the basis of the winning bidder, Elbit Systems Land & C4I, to proceed with producing the artillery systems, and is the basis of the delivery schedule.

MaxDefense already reported months ago that the contract for the project was already signed as early as January 2020. The NTP release was only made in April 2020 due in part to difficulties in conducting business due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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. And it is highly possible that Elbit may be able to deliver the first batch way ahead of April 2022.

The Soltam ATMOS is a 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured by Israeli company Soltam Systems now a subdivision of Elbit Systems. The ATMOS 2000 is the latest generation of artillery system in the family of ATMOS. This artillery system is based on 6x6 military truck chassis that can be armed with 155mm 39, 45 and 52 caliber barrels.

The ATMOS 2000 fitted with the 155 52 caliber cannon has a maximum firing range of 41 km, using an Extended Range Full Bore Base Bleed (ERFB-BB) projectile. It is operated by a crew of four or six, including two loaders.