Israel Army wants to replace old 155mm howitzer M109 with Soltam or AGM artillery system.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 11:52 AM
Israeli defense companies, including Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Systems, are squaring off for a $1 billion army program to replace the venerable U.S.-designed M109 self-propelled 155mm howitzer. These firms, along with Israel Military Industries, are mulling partnerships with international companies such as Lockheed Martin's Dallas-based Missiles and Fire Control Unit, and Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Defense.
Israeli Army (IDF) M109A 155mm self-propelled howitzer
Israeli defense officials said the replacement for the 50-year-old -- and much upgraded -- M109A5 will be the key element in the ground forces' Fire2025 strategic investment plan for a system that's more powerful, has longer range and can be deployed across what the military calls "the operational spectrum."
The Israeli military's general staff is scheduled to announce final approval to launch the program next month.
The Israelis received their first U.S.-built M109s in the early 1970s and it made its combat debut with the Jewish state in the October 1973 war against Egypt and Syria, which Israel won after major setbacks.
Two systems are seen by Israeli defense sources as the main candidates to replace the M109s: Soltam Systems' Autonomous Truck Mounted Howitzer Systems and the artillery gun module, or AGM (also named DONAR) , developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann of Munich, Germany.
Soltam ATMOS 155mm 6x6 self-propelled howitzer
Elbit Systems has been discussing a partnership for the Israeli upgrade program, but Defense News said it could decide to stay on its own after acquiring Soltam Systems, Israel's leading artillery provider, in 2010.
IMI is reported to have teamed up with Rheinmetall in 2012 to produce a modular upgrade model that seeks to extend Israel's 250 M109 variants in service for 40 years more.
The M10917 "Spark" carries a 155mm/52-caliber L52 cannon that can fire six rounds per minute. The L52 saw extensive combat in Afghanistan.
Defense News said the model proposed by IMI will feature the automatic shell-loading capabilities of the PzH2000, developed by Krauss-Mattei Wegmann and Rheinmetall for the Germany army. It cuts crew numbers from eight to three or four.
KMW Krauss-Maffei Wegmann 155mm AGM Artillery Gun Module
Itu AGM kok bentuknya rada aneh gitu, modular sih modular tapi jangan asal templok juga kali, BTW kalau itu AGM ditemplokin ke hull nya Merkava bakalan keren juga tuh (dan kelihatannya sih bisa saja begitu)