Israeli defence company Elbit Systems announced in late March that it has been contracted to deliver an artillery munitions production line to an undisclosed Asia Pacific country. The deal, which will be fulfilled over a period of 2.5 years, is worth around US$130 million.
“This [contract] award attests to the quality of our portfolio and to our proven capability to perform technology co-operations in partnering countries,” said Bezhalel Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems. The company declined to reveal the identity of the customer.
A potential candidate could be Thailand, which earlier in 2019 stated its intent to expand its collaboration with Elbit Systems that has already resulted in locally produced mortar systems and howitzers used by the Royal Thai Army and marine corps.
These include the Autonomous Truck-Mounted Mortar (ATMM), which features Elbit’s 120 mm Spear mortar system aboard a Tata 4×4 truck, and the Autonomous Truck-Mounted Gun (ATMG), which integrates Elbit’s ATMOS 155 mm/52-calibre self-propelled howitzer on a Tatra 6×6 truck.
The ATMM and ATMG are being manufactured by the Artillery and Mortar Production Division of the army’s Weapon Production Centre (WPC) and supported by technology transfers from Elbit. The Royal Thai Army and Elbit also earlier expressed interest for further collaboration, but details have not been forthcoming.
Another possible candidate could be the Philippines, which has taken delivery of 12 ATMOS 155 mm/52-calibre self-propelled howitzers acquired under a US$46 million deal announced in April 2020 as well as M125A2 120 mm self-propelled mortar systems.
The Philippines has emerged as a major regional customer for Elbit Systems, having also acquired the company’s tracked Sabrah ASCOD II light tanks and wheeled Sabrah Pandur II vehicles, as well as a wide range of its unmanned aerial vehicles such as the Hermes 450 and Hermes 900, and Skylark LEX and Skylark 3 platforms.
by Jr Ng