Israel's Elbit Systems is developing a new fully automatic 155 mm/52 caliber SP artillery system, called SIGMA, that is intended to replace the IDF's 155 mm/39 caliber M109 tracked SP artillery systems around 2023, the Janes website reported, quoting company representatives. In the assessment of Israel Defense, this new artillery system is being promoted as Elbit is competing with French company Nexter for a large tender for the supply of 36 self-propelled 155mm howitzers for the Brazilian Army. Nexter is offering the Brazilians its Caesar artillery system.
Elbit's SIGMA is being developed via an initial $125 million contract announced in March 2019. The system is based on a US-supplied Oshkosh Defense 10x10 platform selected by the IDF, which uses the trucks for a number of missions. The platforms will be fitted with a fully protected control cab, a nuclear biological chemical (NBC) system, and full air conditioning for a crew of two or three.
Janes reported that the SIGMA will have an automatic turret armed with a 155 mm/52 caliber barrel with a 23-liter chamber that meets the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding, and is fitted with a muzzle brake and fume extractor, on the rear of the chassis. The turret system will be remote controlled from within. In addition, the system provides a manual reversionary mode, or "degraded mode" of operation, as an Elbit Systems spokesperson described it. The automatic loading system will set the fuse, load the projectile, and then the Uni-Modular Artillery Charge System (UMACS) with the primers will be automatically loaded via a separate magazine, according to the report.