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Israel Fields ‘World’s First Fully Automatic’ 155mm Howitzer

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has fielded the Roem/Sigma self-propelled howitzer following a series of tests.

Touted as the world’s first fully automatic artillery, the 155mm/52 caliber Elbit Systems gun is intended to be a replacement for hundreds of M109s in the Israeli Artillery Corps.

“The relevance and dominance of artillery fire are evident in warfare,” IDF’s chief artillery officer Brig, Gen. Yair Natans said.

“We have taken yet another significant step towards integrating the ‘Roem’ into the diverse firepower capabilities wielded by corps commanders to assist maneuvering forces — close and lethal support that eliminates many enemies and protects soldiers in various arenas,” he added.

“The ‘Roem’ is part of the reinforcement processes of all ground artillery systems, including rockets, missiles, and remotely piloted aircraft.”

Sigma fully automatic self-propelled howitzer
Israel Defense Forces Artillery Corps staff examining the new Sigma/ Roem self-propelled howitzer. Image: Israel Defense Forces

More Advanced, Mobile

The wheeled system is more mobile than the tracked M109, with a greater firing range of up to 40 kilometers (25 miles).

According to The Judean, the gun’s European variant will have an even greater firing range of up to 80 kilometers (50 miles).

It features a modified Oshkosh 10×10 military truck chassis, including an armored cabin at the front for blast and mine protection.

Additional Features

The howitzer can transition from travel to fire mode in 60 seconds, and has a firing rate of eight rounds per minute.

The Roem is manned by a crew of three and is capable of “automatic loading and laying of the gun system, rapid in-and-out action times and high rate of fire,” according to Elbit.

Additionally, it can reportedly fire multiple shells sequentially at different trajectories for a salvo effect on a target.

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