According to information published on the MaxDefense Philippines, the Philippines National Defense Department issued a Notice to Proceed (NTP) on May 1 regarding the acquisition of two 155mm millimeter Elbit Soltam ATMOS self-propelled batteries. NTP is the formal decision to start work at Elbit Systems Land & C4I.
According to unofficial information, the contract will acquire two batteries – twenty-four cannon guns – already signed in January. The order to start work was issued only more than three months later partly due to difficulties in conducting normal business activities due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the terms of the contract, Elbit Systems should complete all deliveries within twenty-four months. This means that the Philippine land forces should expect all ATMOS artillery systems before April 2022.
Soltam ATMOS is a 155 millimeter self-propelled howitzer, designed and manufactured by the Israeli company Soltam Systems, which is currently part of Elbit Systems. ATMOS 2000 is the latest generation artillery system from the ATMOS family. The howitzer is mounted on the chassis of a 6 × 6 or 8 × 8 caliber military truck. It uses barrels with a length of 39, 45 and 52 calibers.
ATMOS 2000 with a 155 millimeter (52 caliber) gun has a carrying capacity of over 41 kilometers, using the ERFB-BB extended range missiles. It is operated by a crew of four or six, including two loaders. The rate of fire is between four and nine shots per minute due to the automatic loading device.
ATMOS has armed, among others, Cameroon and Thailand (eighteen pieces each). In June 2019, forty ATMOS were ordered by Israeli armed forces. The version for Cahalu differs from the versions offered to foreign customers. They will replace in service gradually withdrawn M109 Doher howitzers, the local variant M109A5. ATMOS solutions were also used in the Polish Kryl self-propelled howitzer.
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