WARREN, Mich. – U.S. Army purchases upgraded, fast-moving large-caliber field artillery guns with digital vetronics and modern feed systems, along with their companion tracked armored fighting vehicles, as part of an order for 97 .3 million announced on Friday.
Army Contracting Command-Tank and Automotive officials in Warren, Michigan, are requesting additional M109A7 self-propelled howitzer artillery and M992A3 ammunition carriers from the BAE Systems Platforms & Services segment in York, Pennsylvania.
The M109A7 is the last version of the M109 for US military service. Formerly known as the M109A6 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) version, the M109A7 uses the existing main armament and cabin structure of a Paladin M109A6 self-propelled artillery system, and replaces vehicle chassis components with modem common to the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
The purpose of these upgrades is to allow the M109A7 155mm artillery to keep pace with the Army’s fast Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) alongside the M1 Abrams main battle tank and the M2 Bradley armored personnel carrier.
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The M109A7 program improves the reliability, maintainability, performance, responsiveness, and lethality of the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer and M992A2 Field Artillery Ordnance Support Vehicle (FAASV).
The M109A7 is the primary indirect fire support system for armored brigade combat teams. Its improved chassis provides greater survivability and commonality with existing ABCT armored fighting vehicles. The program aims to reduce maintenance costs by replacing obsolete components.
The M109A7 capitalized on today’s most advanced technology, including a state-of-the-art digital backbone and power generation capability, BAE Systems officials said. The M109A7 can fire high-explosive shells or parachute-equipped battlefield flares.
Former M109 Howitzers are first shipped to the Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama, where they are disassembled to provide cabin structures, overhauled gun and barrel assemblies, and other vehicle components, and shipped back to the BAE Systems Fighting Vehicles plant in York, Pennsylvania. , for final assembly.
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The M109A7’s on-board feed systems exploit technologies originally developed for the canceled non-line-of-sight gun. It features a faster electric drive than the previous hydraulic system and an automatic rammer for consistent speeds and precision.
The latest version of the M109 self-propelled gun features a 600-volt power system to accommodate additional armor and future networking technologies. The gun can sustain a rate of fire of one round per minute and a maximum rate of fire of four rounds per minute.
The first M109A7 low-rate production deliveries began in April 2015. Ultimately, army leaders want to purchase 133 of the self-propelled guns.
On this order, BAE Systems will perform the work in York, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be completed by December 2024. For more information, contact BAE Systems Platforms & Online Services at baesystems.comor the Army Contracting Command-Tank and Automotive at www.tacom.army.mil.