BAE Systems Land & Armaments L.P. was awarded a contract modification, worth around $339 million, to supply 48 sets of M109 Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPH) and M992A3 carrier, ammunition, tracked (CAT) vehicles to the U.S. Army.
The U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) at Detroit Arsenal (DTA), Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-17-C-0001) (P00050). The modification also includes associated support for the vehicles. Fiscal 2018, 2019 and 2020 other procurement, Army funds were obligated at the time of the award. Work will be performed in York, Pennsylvania, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2023.
The M109A7 SPH and M992A3 CAT vehicle set is a vital program enhancement for increased combat capability and sustainment of the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs). The program offers enhanced indirect-fire artillery capabilities to the ABCTs with new technologies for power generation and survivability.
The new M109A7 addresses long-term readiness and modernization needs of the M109 self-propelled howitzer family through a critical redesign and production plan that leverages today’s most advanced technology. Its state-of-the-art “digital backbone” and power generation capability provides a more robust, survivable, and responsive indirect fire support capability for ABCT Soldiers. The M109A7 is a significant upgrade over the M109A6 as it enhances reliability, maintainability, performance, responsiveness, lethality, and crew survivability.
The initial contract was awarded in 2017 for low-rate production. This most recent order brings the total number of M109A7 and M992A3 vehicle sets to 204, with a total contract value of $1.5 billion. The award follows the Army’s decision, announced in February, to commence full-rate production of the vehicle.
The M109 is an American 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer (SPH), first introduced in the early 1960s. The M109 family is the most common western indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions.
The newest M109 version for U.S. service is the M109A7, formerly known as the M109A6 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM). The M109A7 shares common components with the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) such as the engine, transmission, and tracks.
Weighing 78,000 lb (35,000 kg), the M109A7 is 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) heavier than its predecessor, and it has the capacity to grow to 110,000 lb (50,000 kg). Even with the weight increase, the M109A7 can travel faster than previous versions at 38 mph (61 km/h) and is more maneuverable than a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The M109A7 can sustain a one-round per-minute rate of fire and a maximum rate of fire of four rounds-per-minute.
A crew of four Soldiers operates the SPH and can use it to engage targets at ranges of 22 kilometers using standard projectiles and 30 kilometers using rocket-assisted projectiles.
The M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) is built on the chassis of the M109-series howitzer. It is also colloquially referred to as a “cat” (referring to its nomenclature, CAT: Carrier, Ammunition, Tracked). It replaced the M548 supply vehicle. Unlike the M548, it is armored.
This ammunition vehicle has no turret, but has a taller superstructure to store 95 rounds with a corresponding number of powders and primers. There is a maximum of 92 conventional rounds, 45 each in two racks, and 3 M712 Copperhead rounds.
A crew of four Soldiers operates the CAT.