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The Atmos 2000 155mm self-propelled howitzer artillery system.
Soltam Systems of Haifa, Israel, manufactures the Atmos 2000 155mm self-propelled artillery system. The Atmos artillery system is available with 155mm 39, 45 and 52 calibre barrels. The development and test phase of the program has been successfully completed and the system has entered full-scale production. As an option, the Atmos 2000 155mm 45 calibres can also be equipped with a Russian 130mm M-46 gun.
The Atmos artillery system weighs 22,000kg. The system is transportable in a C-130 Hercules medium transport aircraft and does not require heavy equipment transporters in order to be relocated over long distances.
Atmos began trials with the Israeli Defence Force in 2006
The Atmos system uses all NATO standard 155mm ammunition.
Rascal 155mm Howitzer
The Rascal light self-propelled gun howitzer is a highly mobile, long-range, high-speed, lightweight artillery system.
The 155mm 52 calibre Atmos has demonstrated a maximum target range of 41km, using an Extended Range Full Bore Base Bleed (ERFB-BB) projectile. The range using a NATO L15 high explosive projectile is 30km. Atmos also fires the older standard M107 High Explosive projectile and has a range of 22km. Atmos 2000 carries 27 projectiles and charges.
Atmos is fitted with a hydraulic power pack for operation of the load assist systems, for aiming and for operation of the spades.
The system uses a horizontal sliding breech opening to the right and is fitted with a self-sealing metal obturating ring. The system is fitted with two pneumatic equilibrators, single cylinder hydraulic buffer and hydro-pneumatic recuperator. The recoil length is between 850mm to 1,100mm.
The high firing rate of three projectiles per 20 seconds is achieved by using a unique new load assist device. Sustained firing rate is 70 projectiles in 60 minutes.
The artillery system is operated by a crew of four or six, including two loaders.
When the firing position site has been selected, two large hydraulically operated stabilisation spades are lowered at the rear of the vehicle on either side.
Target information is supplied by a surveillance patrol or by a Forward Observation Officer to the Atmos 2000 unit. The computerised Advanced Fire and Control System (AFCS) fitted on the Atmos 2000 includes navigation and aiming systems and ballistic computation system.
The AFCS displays the target information, selects the gun traverse and elevation and lays the weapon on the target. The weapon elevation and traverse is hydraulically operated. The weapon system can also be operated manually.
A high mobility Tatra 6×6 truck has been selected for the first production Atmos 2000 artillery systems. The maximum road speed is 80km/h and the range is 1,000km. The V-12 diesel engine is rated at 315hp at 2,200rpm. The ten-speed transmission has power-assisted mechanical gear shifting.
Atmos can be installed on a wide range of wheeled vehicle chassis according to the customer country’s requirements. A wheeled rather than a tracked vehicle was selected because it provides very much higher strategic manoeuvrability, lower procurement price, lower through life cost and easier operation and maintenance. Wheeled vehicles are faster than tracked vehicles and have a greater operational range.
The 6×6 Tatra truck, built under licence in India, has very good off road performance. The ground clearance is 0.4m and the Atmos 2000 can negotiate 0.6m vertical steps, 0.9m trenches and can ford to a depth of 1.40m.
The cab is armour protected and withstands small arms fire and shell fragments.
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