Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Philippine Army pushing for the Purchase of Israeli ATMOS 2000 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer

The Philippine Army (PA) was reportedly pushing for the purchase of Israeli-made ATMOS 2000 155mm self-propelled howitzers from Soltam/Elbit Systems. It appears that the said artillery system was among those offered by the Israelis to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND), which includes anti aircraft missile systems and, still to be verified, multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).

The Soltam/Elbit Systems ATMOS 2000 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer, mounted on a TATRA 6x6 truck.
Earlier MaxDefense covered a reported interest by the DND and PA to purchase the SPYDER Air Defense System (ADS) from the Israelis, with the DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin himself said to be going to Israel to underscore a possible purchase. Probably this is related to the visit as well, and MaxDefense is expecting more offers to be uncovered in the next few weeks.

Back view of the ATMOS 2000.

The ATMOS 2000 is a 155mm, 52-calibre gun howitzer mounted on a 6x6 or 8x8 truck. It is embedded with an electronic suite and has automatic laying and loading systems that reduces crew to 4 to 6 men, and increased efficiency and accuracy. It has a Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) capability and fire up to 4 rounds and have them impact the same location at the same time for maximum kill and damage.

ATMOS 2000 155mm self-propelled howitzer.
Photo taken from Wikimedia.

It has a maximum range of 41 kilometers (for 52 caliber), can fire 3 burst rounds within 15 seconds, or intense 15 rounds within 3 minutes. Compared to the current PA artillery inventory which are mostly smaller 105mm, the 155mm system has a larger round and explosive power, longer range, and higher capability.


The PA currently uses a few Soltam M71 155mm towed howitzers since 1983.
Photo taken from Timawa.net forum c/o 40niner_com.

The interest in buying the ATMOS system has been a complete turn-around from an earlier plan to purchase towed 155mm artillery systems to complement the PA's existing 155mm and 105mm howitzers. Plans have been announced since 2008 for at least 12 units of towed howitzers, plus individual prime movers. There were also plans that should a deal with Italy be secured, a transfer for a few dozen FH70 155mm towed howitzers will be made for the PA


Previous reports of a possible transfer of ex-Italian Army FH70 155mm howitzers surfaced in 2012.

With the prime movers delivered to the PA earlier in the form of 5-ton delivered according to MaxDefense sources and confirmed by the news report, it is expected that the 155mm towed howitzers will also be ordered soon. No exact model was declared, although reports ranging from used American M198s or European FH70, to new Pegasus lightweight guns from Singapore or M777 lightweight guns from the US surfaced.  



Used American M198 155mm towed howitzers were reportedly considered by the PA before.
Photo taken from fas.org.

MaxDefense will be reporting more on this update as this new project unfolds. So far, a self-propelled howitzer system is important for any modern army, but the turn-around from towed to self-propelled system is something worth looking at.

14 comments:

  1. i read somewhere that these fit in C-130s. so thats definitely a plus. us being a nation of islands and all.

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  2. If approved, this modern self-propelled system would be a welcome addition to the AFP's inventory.

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  3. nice site max. it is a win for Philippines having both ATMOS 2000 and m777/Excalibur.

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  4. Hi Max, Thanks for sharing this info. I thought for a long time that the long barreled arty. piece. that I've seen in Ft. Bonifacio during my teens were Tampella. That is the first time that I see it, was in early 90's, while jogging inside Camp Aguinaldo, I saw it again for the second time, rotting at vehicle graveyard at Logistics Command. I just can't remember the year that I saw these the first time, but I am sure it is earlier than 1980. Can you confirm if It is Soltam or did PA took an earlier delivery, maybe as early as 1975?

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    1. The PA had the M114 155mm howitzers since the early 1970s, but they are still kept well until now. The Soltams are also reportedly still in good condition so I'm not sure on what you saw, maybe they were old artillery pieces from WW2?

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  5. Max, do you think there is a correlation between the planned Atmos 2000 purchase of these 155mm's and the 8 attack helicopters? The Americans uses the Kiowa Warriors OH-58D's to direct or illuminate guided munitions like the Copperhead or similar for precision attack and bombardment. That could be good in places such as Sulu to minimize collateral damage instead of just simply lobbing them on a potential target. Or we are not in that stage yet? The Recon heli's can serve as light attack also to support the ground troops. Anyway, we can't afford a full pledge AH so a Recon/light AH with a cost hovering around $10m could meet the requirements except it has only single engine but a proven performer. Thank for your blog. You've been a positive force and a good one at that.

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    1. Hi Acadiana, thanks for your comment. The PA usually have scout troops that provide info to the artillery battery. Helicopters can also provide that but in the case of the AFP that would not be usual. They have been using 155mm for quite some time already (since 1970s) and getting more 155mm (either towed or self propelled) has been in their plans for a long time now. Its more about capability upgrade rather than new ways to provide direction to artillery.

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  6. you have better researched information and blogs than our newspapers' columnists...kudos...keep on sharing ideas and more...

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  7. ..talaga ba na may intensyon ang afp na bumili nito?? baka pamapapogi lng nla at pra may sabihin lng?? by the way, nice site manong max, waiting for further blogs and posts..

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  8. Hey this is good! But the last update here is September 17,2013 it's now November 2013 anyone here know of further updates Regarding the Spyder SAMs and the Soltam 155mm Towed Howitzers?

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  9. Good news, pina bibid na po ng depense panel yung 12 na howitzer. According one of the article of abs cbn.com

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  10. credible defense against china will not compliment your 12 howitzer....how about the spyder missile? what happen to mr. gazmin viewd on this? drawing? hahahah..Lem1

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  11. israeli made are good because they were always under treat so their weapons are reliable n credible. SPYDER 1of the advance ADS n atmos is also good but if i will choose, the german PhZ2000 is d best 50% faster firing rate 1meter average miss in 40km very high accurate artillery rounds.

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  12. filipinos are not contented of what the afp acquired now.we want something more big and destructive not just light,what we are dealing now is a monster a maniac and needs no pity,Please used the money taken from the marcoses from napoles and from the senatongs and tongresmen link to napoles

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