Elbit inks $252 million deal to supply unnamed NATO country with rocket systems

Announcement comes after Denmark said it’s in talks with Israeli firm to fill ‘critical gap’ after pledging all of its howitzers to Ukraine to fend off Russian invasion

Elbit Systems' ATMOS 2000 self-propelled howitzer, which will serve as the basis for the IDF's next artillery cannon, as seen on May 19, 2008. (Rowielip/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Elbit Systems' ATMOS 2000 self-propelled howitzer, which will serve as the basis for the IDF's next artillery cannon, as seen on May 19, 2008. (Rowielip/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems announced Thursday it had been awarded two contracts worth $252 million to supply an unnamed European NATO member country with artillery systems.

The announcement came more than a month after Denmark said it was in talks with Elbit for new mobile artillery to plug a “critical gap,” after pledging all 19 of its French-made Caesar howitzers to Ukraine.

The Danish defense ministry said negotiations were taking place “for the delivery of ATMOS artillery pieces and PULS rocket launcher systems as soon as possible.”

The equipment could be delivered this year, the government said.

According to Elbit, the firm would supply the unnamed NATO member — thought to be Denmark — with a battalion’s worth of truck-mounted howitzers, with a value of $119 million. The delivery of the ATMOS systems would take place over a period of two years, the firm said.

The second contract would see the Israeli firm supply the NATO member with $133 million worth of PULS artillery systems, including ammunition. The supply would be delivered over three years, according to Elbit.

“We are witnessing a trajectory of an increased demand for advanced artillery solutions from militaries around the world, including European countries and NATO members, as part of their efforts to increase the effectiveness of their armed forces,” said Bezhalel Machlis, the president and CEO of Elbit, in remarks provided by the firm.

This undated handout image from Elbit Systems shows a PULS artillery rocket-launcher system. (Elbit Systems)

“Our operationally proven systems provide an advanced cost-effective solution to meet that demand,” he added.

Denmark had ordered 15 mobile long-range howitzers from French company Nexter in 2017, and four more in 2019.

But deliveries have been delayed and only a few have arrived. All of them have been pledged to Ukraine.

The ATMOS system can carry 36 155 mm shells and reach targets at distances of up to 40 kilometers (24 miles). It can fire six shots per minute and can be mounted on most off-road 8X8 trucks.

The PULS system supports firing both unguided rockets and precision-guided missiles between ranges of 12km (7.5 miles) and 300km (186 miles).

The next acquisitions are “important for Denmark’s defense and for Denmark to be able to meet its NATO commitments,” Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said in January.

“The donation to Ukraine leaves a critical capability gap in defense,” he said.

Ukrainian soldiers fire a Pion artillery system at Russian positions near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, December 16, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)

In addition to the twin deal, Elbit also announced Thursday it had been awarded a $120 million contract to supply Romania with unmanned turrets, remote-controlled weapon stations, and mortar systems.

The deals came amid increasing Western support for Ukraine amid the year-long Russian invasion.

Countries in NATO and the EU — which share 21 members — have funneled billions of dollars of arms to Kyiv that have helped it push back Moscow’s forces.

Israel has so far avoided providing direct military aid to Kyiv since Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, in an attempt to avoid sparking a crisis with Moscow.

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