Nov 2, 2015 by Richard Tomkins. (UPI)
BAE Systems is continuing low-rate initial production of the M109A7 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer under the second option of a U.S Army contract.
An additional 30 sets of the weapon system -- one of which will include an M992A3 tracked ammunition carrier -- will be produced under the option, which is worth $245.3 million.
"The success of this program is directly attributable to the partnership between the Army and BAE Systems," said Adam Zarfoss, director of Artillery and Bradley programs at BAE Systems. "We've worked as a team to bring this much needed enhanced combat capability to the soldier to address immediate needs while providing a platform that can support future growth as requirements evolve."
The M109A7 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer, or SPH, is an upgrade of the M109A6 Paladin. It uses the main armament and cab structure of the M109A6, but replaces the vehicle's chassis structure with a new design to allow for the integration of Bradley common drive-train and suspension components.
Technology developments from the Crusader and Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon programs are also included in the upgraded Paladin. Among them: a 600 volt on-board power generation, distribution and management system, coupled with high-voltage gun drive and projectile ramming systems.
BAE Systems said that with delivery of the 30 Paladin sets under the second contract option, the company would have produced 66 systems to the Army, which intends to procure a total of 580 vehicle sets.