The Danish Government has decided to purchase new artillery systems, and the ATMOS 155mm will be its choice.
To compensate for the 19 CAESAR 155mm self-propelled howitzers that will be donated to Ukraine, the Danish Government has decided to purchase new artillery systems, and the ATMOS 155mm will be its choice. According to a statement published by the Danish Ministry of Defense on January 26, 2023, Denmark is currently negotiating with Israel to purchase 19 ATMOS self-propelled howitzers to maintain the combat capability of the country’s artillery force.
It is expected that Israeli company Elbit Systems will be able to supply ATMOS self-propelled artillery this year or early next year. Although the French CAESAR is a good choice, Nexter will not be able to deliver the new artillery order on time as requested by Denmark. CAESAR proved effective on the battlefield in Ukraine, but the rush to add new artillery systems left the Danish government with another choice.
ATMOS is a 155 mm self-propelled gun system manufactured by Israeli military manufacturer Soltam Systems. The system is long range, fast moving, truck mounted with high firepower and mobility, rapid deployment, short response time, operable in all terrain areas. The system is integrated with a fully computerized system, providing an automatic control, accurate navigation and target acquisition.
The ATMOS 2000 was developed from the Soltam ATHOS 2052 towed howitzer, equipped with a load assisting system. It is compatible with all standard 155 mm NATO ammunition. Maximum range of fire is 30 km with standard HE projectile and 41 km with extended-range projectile, and 56 km with newly-developed rocket-assisted projectile. This artillery system carries a total of 32 projectiles and associated charges. Rate of fire is between 4 and 9 rounds per minute.
A 155 mm calibre ordnance is mounted on a 6 × 6 cross-country truck chassis. Vehicle is normally operated by a crew of four, including two loaders. Cab of the ATMOS 2000 is armored and protects the crew from small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle is powered by a diesel engine, developing 315 hp. An auxiliary power unit is fitted, which prepares vehicle for firing, operates weapon elevation and traverse and powers the load assisting system when the main engine is shut down. Howitzer can be operated manually in case of emergency.
Advanced fire control system of the ATMOS 2000 receives target information from forward observers. It includes navigation and aiming systems and ballistic computer. This artillery system can be airlifted with a C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft.
Denmark is also operating another Israeli artillery system, the 120mm Cardom 10 self-propelled mortar. After the decision to donate all 19 of its Caesar 8×8 self-propelled guns to Ukraine, the Danish artillery force had to urgently plans to add new systems to maintain its combat capabilities.