A new version of Elbit Systems’ Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System (ATMOS) 155 mm/39-calibre SP artillery system was developed for the Royal Thai Army (RTA), in cooperation with Thailand’s military industrial complex. A first unit comprising six CAESAR 155mm/52 caliber guns is currently in service. The ATMOS platform is designed to operate the 155mm/52 caliber tube, but in Thailand the Army opted for the 155mm/39 caliber howitzer using a 6×6 truck. The ATMOS has already been demonstrated implemented on 8×8 trucks, carrying 54 caliber guns.
The RTA is expected to field a second battery of truck-mounted howitzers. It is designed with a low silhouette making the camouflaged vehicle indistinctive on road travel. Many of the gun’s systems are automated, enabling operation by a crew of three personnel. The ATMOS system is fully integrated with Elbit Systems’ command and control and various systems enabling to reduce the workload the crew is faced with.
The prototype development has recently been completed in Israel and was demonstrated in firing series prior to delivery to the customer. Follow-on production systems will be built in Thailand. The current requirement is for six systems. The development has been underway since 2012.
The RTA currently operates a battery of six Nexter Systems CAESAR 155 mm/52-calibre (6×6) SP artillery systems and it had been expected that additional systems would be ordered to form a complete regiment of 18 weapons.
According to Jane’s Defense Weekly, the SPGs will be produced at the Thai Army Artillery and Mortar Production Division of the Royal Thai Army’s (RTA’s) Weapon Production Centre (WPC). The locally produced guns are expected to be delivered by the military factory in 2015.
In India, Elbit Systems and Bharat Forge are promoting the ATMOS to meet the Indian Army MGS requirement. The two companies are also collaborating in other artillery modernization programs in India, including the up-gunning of 130mm M46 to 155mm/45 Caliber. The program offers the Army operators improved logistics through the lifespan of the gun.The two partners are also pursuing the Indian 155mm/52 Autonomous Towed howitzer requirement offering the ATHOS towed gun system. As an autonomous weapon platform ATHOS integrates a highly sophisticated and accurate navigation and positioning system, comprising an inertial navigation system, global positioning and on-board firing computer offering maximum flexibility and efficiency. Automated ammunition loading system to accelerate firing series and minimize the exposure of the gun in the firing position.