Learn how to fire an M109 A6 Paladin with Tennessee’s first female artillery crew member, SPC LeAnn Roggensack. In June 1999, the US Army received the last of 950 Paladin M109A6 ordered. Seven systems were ordered in July 2000 for the US Army National Guard and a further 18 systems in January 2002. With the cancellation of Crusader and NLOS-C programmes the US Army will continue to rely on the M109A6 Paladin artillery system, until it will be upgraded to the M109A7 standard. The M109 is an American 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s. It has been upgraded a number of times, most recently to the M109A7.
Paladin M109A6 is a cannon artillery system developed by the Ground System Division of United Defense LP (now BAE Systems Land and Armaments) and manufactured at the Paladin Production Operation centre at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The M109A6 Paladin is a further upgrade of the M109 self-propelled howitzer, which was introduced in early 1960s. This M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer entered service with the US Army in 1991. Paladin was first fielded in 1994 and is operational with the United States Army and the Israeli Army, and has been selected by the Kuwait and Taiwan.
The M109A6 has a larger turret than its predecessor. The 39-calibre 155mm M284 cannon, which is fitted with an M182 gun mount, has a range of 24km using unassisted rounds or 30km using assisted rounds. Paladin M109A6 achieves a maximum firing rate of up to eight rounds a minute or three rounds in 15 seconds, and a sustained firing rate of one round every three minutes. The gun is operated with an automatic fire control system with ballistic computer, fitted with an optical backup. Secondary armament consists of a roof-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun. Some vehicles were fitted with 40 mm automatic grenade launcher in place of machine gun.
The M109A6 is fitted with an automatic fire control system with an integrated navigation and inertial positioning system. It is also fitted with a muzzle reference system. US Army Paladins are being fitted with the Modular Artillery Charge Systems (MACS) to fire the Raytheon / Bofors XM982 Excalibur GPS / inertial navigation-guided extended-range 155mm projectiles. The new Paladin digital fire control system (PDFCS) is also being fitted and storage capacity for ten Excalibur projectiles. The M982 Excalibur extended-range precision guided projectiles has a maximum range of 40 km.
Armor of the M109A6 Paladin provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Protection against nuclear, chemical and biological warfare is installed with individual crew protection systems with temperature controlled (hot and cold) air. Turret is fitted with Kevlar anti-spall lining. Vehicle is powered by the Detroit Diesel 8V71T diesel engine or Cummins 600 hp diesel engine. The vehicle has a range of 214 miles with a maximum speed of 40mph. The M109A6 Paladin is supported by the M992 ammunition supply vehicle. It can carry a maximum of 93 rounds and transfer them to the self-propelled howitzer via conveyer.