|The Soltam/Elbit Systems ATMOS 2000 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer, mounted on a TATRA 6x6 truck.|
|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.