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Philippine Army conducts live firing of new ATMOS 2000 howitzers

The Philippine Army's 1st and 2nd Self Propelled Batteries and Artillery Training School (ATS) conducting live firings of the ATMOS in April 2022. (Philippine Army )

The Philippine Army has concluded a three-day live-firing exercise with its Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System (ATMOS) 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled artillery pieces, marking the end of the first in-country training programme for the newly arrived weapons.

The exercise was held from 6 to 8 April at Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation area in Nueva Ecija, which lies about 100 km north of Manila. The activity was conducted by the Philippine Army's 1st and 2nd Self Propelled Batteries and the Artillery Training School (ATS), said the service in a statement on 13 April.

Videos of the exercise released by the Philippine Army's official social media channels accompanying its statement indicate that the training activity was facilitated by instructors from Israeli weapons supplier, Elbit Systems.

The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) issued a 'Notice to Proceed' (NTP) to Elbit Systems for the ATMOS acquisition in April 2020. The contract was valued at about USD47 million covering the supply and delivery of 12 howitzer units to the Philippine Army.

The contract was signed by the DND and the International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) of the Israel Ministry of Defense (MoD) under an inter-government agreement. All 12 howitzer units were delivered to the Philippine Army in December 2021.

The ATMOS 155 mm howitzer system has been conceived as a “shoot-and-scoot” weapon that can be deployed rapidly across difficult terrain and harsh landscapes. The weapon is controlled by an electronic suite that incorporates an inertial navigation system (INS)-based gun laying method, and an automatic loader.

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