Brazil selects ATMOS 155mm self-propelled howitzer

Brazil selects ATMOS 155mm self-propelled howitzer

The Brazilian Army has officially chosen the ATMOS self-propelled howitzer system, developed by the Israeli company Elbit Systems, as the winner of its VBCOAP 155 SR competition, aimed at modernizing its artillery fleet with high-tech equipment. This announcement was first revealed by SA Defensa on their X account on April 29, 2024, highlighting the importance of this strategic decision for Brazil.

As highlighted in an article by Army Recognition, on August 17, 2023, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense unveiled its plans to acquire and develop 36 Viatura Blindada de Combate Obuseiro Autopropulsado 155 mm Sobre Rodas (VBC OAP 155 mm SR), which translates to 36 armored self-propelled howitzers. On March 17, 2024, the Brazilian Army, through its Logistics Command (COLOG), revealed the contenders for its Wheeled Self-Propelled Artillery Vehicle (WSPA) project. This announcement showcased the models that met the detailed criteria specified in the project’s tender. The models in contention included China’s SH15, Israel’s ATMOS, France’s CAESAR, and the Czech Zuzana 2. Today, the Brazilian Army has officially chosen Elbit Systems’ ATMOS, a self-propelled howitzer system developed by the Israeli company, for its project.

The ATMOS system, which stands for Autonomous Truck Mounted Howitzer System, stands out for its increased mobility, mounted on a 6×6 or 8×8 truck chassis, and its compatibility with NATO standard 155 mm ammunition. It was therefore preferred over other international competitors, including the French CAESAR, the Slovakian Zuzana 2, and the Chinese SH-15.

Equipped with a fully automated loading and laying system, the ATMOS can fire three rounds in 15 seconds in burst mode and sustain a firing rate of two rounds per minute for an hour. With extended-range ammunition, it can reach targets up to 41 kilometers away.

In addition to its firepower, the ATMOS incorporates advanced fire control, navigation, and aiming systems, which enhance its precision and operational efficiency. The vehicle also offers enhanced crew protection, with a fully armored cabin and gun, and a system for protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical threats.

The ATMOS 2000, a truck-mounted, wheel-based self-propelled howitzer system, has been designed and manufactured by the Israeli company Elbit Systems since 2001. Capable of being manned by a crew ranging from 2 to 6 members, the ATMOS 2000 highlights its adaptability and ability to address a variety of operational scenarios. It features weapon traverse capabilities of 25 degrees left and right, and an elevation up to +70 degrees, allowing for exceptional maneuverability and targeting precision.

With a length of 9.5 meters and weighing 23,000 kg in its 52-caliber version, the ATMOS 2000 combines firepower and mobility, making it a preferred choice for armed forces globally. Israel, the producing country, has seen its artillery system adopted by several nations including Azerbaijan, Botswana, Denmark, Cameroon, Colombia, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia.

The Brazilian Army’s decision to acquire the ATMOS is part of its efforts to modernize its artillery capabilities, complementing its existing arsenal, which includes the ASTROS II multiple rocket launcher, the M109A5 self-propelled howitzer, and the Gepard anti-aircraft system. This acquisition represents a step forward in the modernization of the Brazilian armed forces, enabling them to respond more effectively to contemporary security challenges.

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