The U.S. Army has awarded a $142 million contract to BAE Systems new M109A7 self-propelled howitzers and M992A3 ammunition carriers.
The follow-on contract calls for BAE to build 18 M109A7 howitzers and 18 carrier ammunition, tracked vehicles for the low-rate initial production deal.
BAE Systems is proud to partner with the Army to continue production on this important upgrade program,” Adam Zarfoss, director for Artillery and Recovery Systems at BAE Systems, said in a recent BAE release.
“The M109A7 is a significant leap forward in technology for the field artillery, addressing the current system shortfalls while providing significant margin for growth to help position the service for the long term.”
BAE Systems was originally awarded a one-year base contract for the M109A7, formerly the Paladin Integrated Management program, in October 2013.
In total, the Army intends to purchase a total of 66.5 vehicle sets plus spares, kits, and technical documentation. One set includes a M109A7 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer along with its battlefield companion, the M992A3 Carrier Ammunition, Tracked.
The M109A7 program is a significant upgrade over the vehicle’s predecessor, the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer, BAE officials maintain.
The design includes a Bradley-common chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system, and improved survivability, while leveraging technologies developed during the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon program such as a 600 volt on-board power system.
The state-of-the-art “digital-backbone” and power generation capability provides significant growth potential for future payloads as well as accommodating existing battlefield network requirements.
Work on the M109A7 is currently underway at Anniston Army Depot, Alabama, and BAE Systems’ York, Pennsylvania, facility. Final production will take place at the company’s Elgin, Oklahoma, facility, with the first vehicles scheduled to be delivered to the Army in early 2015.