The US Army is ramping up production of its new M109A7 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, while creating more common ground in the US Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT).
The M109A7 is the latest in the BAE Systems M109 family of vehicles, the primary indirect fire support system for the ABCTs.
According to a tweet from BAE System, the US defense contractor has fully started production and is ending the year with more than 250 vehicles delivered.
“The M109A7 self-propelled howitzer meets the requirements for long-term readiness and modernization and uses the most modern technology of today,” it said in a Twitter post.
The Army’s new self-propelled howitzer is now deadlier than ever. It uses the existing main armament and cabin structure of a Paladin M109A6, replacing the vehicle’s undercarriage components with modem components common to the Bradley vehicle. The improved chassis structure provides greater survivability and commonality with the existing systems in the ABCT, and reduces operational sustainability costs by replacing obsolete components.
According to army officials, the new artillery system can hit enemies up to 70 kilometers away.
“In the past, the A6 Paladin was the army’s slowest vehicle. It has to skip. We are restoring this mobility so that it becomes one of the faster vehicles. Howitzers can now overtake 113s, ”said a senior army weapons developer.
The M109A7 is considered to be the most cost-effective way to significantly improve sustainability and survivability while reducing the logistical burden on the ABCT and supporting fire departments.
In addition, the US Army has published a call for proposals for additional option years (FY 21 through FY 23) to enter into contracts for the Paladin M109A7 artillery systems and M992A3 ammunition carriers.