Elbit selected to produce new howitzer for IDF

06 April 2017

The Israel Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on 4 April that it had selected Elbit Systems to develop and produce a new artillery gun for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The MoD declined to provide any additional details other that the new gun will be produced at Elbit's artillery factory in Yokneam, northern Israel.

The IDF's new howitzer will be based on the Elbit ATMOS. (Elbit Systems)The IDF's new howitzer will be based on the Elbit ATMOS. (Elbit Systems)

Defence sources said the MoD's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure selected the Elbit gun after setting up a commission to examine contenders. Industry sources told Jane's that the MoD has not yet placed an official order with Elbit.

Jane's understands that the gun selected for the IDF Artillery Corps is based on Elbit's 155 mm ATMOS self-propelled howitzer, although it will not be identical to it. The IDF variant will have additional technologies, although no further details on these are currently available.

Developed by Soltam Systems, which was acquired by Elbit in 2010, the ATMOS is already in service with a number of export customers. It has automatic laying and loading systems and an electronic suite that Elbit says enables "accurate navigation and autonomous operation, reduced crew size, increased fire power, and high precision accuracy". It can be mounted on any 6x6 or 8x8 high-mobility tactical truck.

A senior source from the IDF Artillery Corps told Jane's in March that its next-generation 155 mm guns would be able to fire GPS-guided shells as well as unguided ones. The corps is in the process of acquiring Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) TopGun GPS-guidance systems, which are fitted to existing unguided shells where the fuse is normally attached.

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