Colombian Ministry of Nationwide Defence has ordered 18 models of the ATMOS 155mm self-propelled howitzer from Israel’s Elbit Techniques in a deal value $101.7 million. Defense News reported that The choice got here as a shock for some observers who anticipated the contract to go to the Colombian Military’s most well-liked alternative, the CAESAR six-wheel self-propelled made by French firm Nexter. Throughout closing negotiations, Nexter knowledgeable Colombia that the worth of the potential deal could be $114 million. That value was deemed too excessive in comparison with funding allotted to the acquisition program. Colombia in the end turned its consideration to the Atmos, and the events reached an settlement inside finances. Nexter didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Elbit Techniques ATMOS 8×8 and 6×6 155mm self-propelled howitzer. (Picture by Elbit Techniques)

The Colombian Military makes use of its artillery in actual hearth missions primarily attacking positions of Colombian drug cartels or ongoing battles between FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – Individuals’s Military) guerrillas and the federal government. The FARC is a Marxist–Leninist guerrilla group concerned within the persevering with Colombian battle beginning in 1964. About 2,000 to 2,500 FARC dissidents nonetheless tackle FARC’s unique doctrine and proceed with drug trafficking, although far smaller than the group at its peak. A small faction of FARC leaders introduced a return to armed exercise on 29 August 2019. The Colombian authorities responded with preemptive strikes, killing FARC members planning to guide rearmament actions. The FARC misplaced 1,500 members in 2020. The quantity contains deaths, seize, and desertions. He mentioned the FARC nonetheless had 2,500 armed members.


Elbit Systems ATMOS 8x8 155mm self-propelled howitzer
Elbit Techniques ATMOS 8×8 155mm self-propelled howitzer. (Picture by Elbit Techniques)

The ATMOS(Autonomous Truck MOunted howitzer System) self-propelled gun-howitzer was developed by Soltam (Elbit Techniques) as a non-public enterprise. The ATMOS makes use of Tatra T815 VVN 6×6 truck chassis. The ATMOS has been demonstrated applied on 8×8 vehicles. Nevertheless this model obtained no manufacturing orders up to now. Car is powered by a diesel engine, creating 315 hp. The system is lengthy vary, fast paced, truck mounted with excessive firepower and mobility, speedy deployment, brief response time, operable in all terrain areas. The system is built-in with a completely computerized system, offering an computerized management, correct navigation and goal acquisition, the system is obtainable with varied gun barrel lengths, starting from 39 to 52 calibre, with a view to meet totally different buyer necessities. Howitzer will be operated manually in case of emergency. This artillery system will be airlifted with a C-130 Hercules tactical transport plane.

Elbit Systems ATMOS 6x6 155mm self-propelled howitzer
Elbit Techniques ATMOS 6×6 155mm self-propelled howitzer. (Picture by Elbit Techniques)

The ATMOS is fitted with a 155 mm/52 calibre ordnance which conforms to NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU), and is mounted on a 6 × 6 cross-country truck chassis. The breech mechanism is horizontal sliding which routinely opens to the fitting with a self-sealing steel obturating ring. The buffer is a hydraulic cylinder with a hydro-pneumatic recuperator. Recoil size is variable from 850 to 1,100 mm with two pneumatic equilibrators. Weapon elevation and traverse are all hydraulic and laptop managed. The gun’s aiming gears, load help techniques and spades are operated by a hydraulic energy pack. With a 155 mm/52 barrel, a 41 km most vary will be achieved, utilizing Prolonged Vary Full-Bore – Base Bleed (ERFB-BB) projectile, 30 km firing the NATO L15 Excessive Explosive (HE) projectile and 24.5 km firing the older M107 HE projectile.