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Philippine Army sets up ATMOS battalion

The Philippine Army has formed a new battalion to operate its ATMOS 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled guns. The weapon (pictured above) took part in Philippine Army tests in April 2022. (Philippine Army)

The Philippine Army has established a new battalion to operate its newly acquired Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System (ATMOS) 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled gun system, produced by Israeli firm Elbit Systems.

Philippine Army spokesperson Colonel Xerxes Trinidad told Janes on 27 June that the 10th Field Artillery Battalion will operate under the service's artillery regiment, which is headquartered in Fort Magsaysay, 120 km north of Manila.

Col Trinidad said the 12 new artillery pieces will boost the army's “mobility and range” and enhance its “indirect fire support capability”. The ATMOS is also intended to aid the Philippine Army's continuing efforts to support combined arms operations in tackling critical threats including insurgency.

The Philippine Army took delivery of the ATMOS units in December 2021, following the signing of a USD47 million contract in 2020. In service with the army, the gun is mounted on a 6×6 truck, although it can be incorporated onto 8×8 vehicles for enhanced speed and mobility.

Janes had earlier reported that the ATMOS 155 mm howitzer has been conceived as a ‘shoot-and-scoot' gun that can be deployed rapidly across difficult terrain and harsh landscapes. It can fire a variety of NATO-compliant 155 mm projectiles and charges and has a maximum range of more than 40 km when used with extended-range full-bore projectiles, according to Elbit Systems.

The gun has a fire rate of about eight rounds per minute when deployed for stationary indirect fire missions, and it can fire about six rounds in 110 seconds when deployed in the “shoot-and-scoot” configuration.

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