The Brazilian Army receives new units of the M109A5+ BR self-propelled combat artillery vehicle. Under the terms of the Foreign Military Sales contract, BAE Systems overhaul and upgrade 32 self-propelled howitzers to the M109A5+ configuration. BAE Systems has been awarded a $54 million contract to provide 32 upgraded M109A5+ self-propelled howitzers to the Brazilian Army. In addition, the company provided spares and training as well as live fire support and field service support following delivery. The upgrades are being made at Brazilian Army request. BAE Systems, the original howitzer manufacturer, is upgrading the A5 to the A5+ in the United States.
The 29th Self-Propelled Artillery Groups (29° Grupo de Artilharia de Campanha Autopropulsado, 29º GAC AP) will be one to receive units of the new vehicles. The field artillery group has built a new pavilion and incorporated an additional battery in order to increase its manpower. Personnel training has also been carried out in preparation for the new systems. The Brazilian Army began operations with its first M109A3 howitzer. In 2018, the EB began replacing its M109A3 fleet, dated from the early 2000s, with the M109A5 manufactured by BAE Systems. Brazil also operates 40 previous A3 variants purchased from the Belgian Army.
The vehicles included items specifically tailored to the Brazilian Army’s requirements. Developed to meet the army’s requirements, the new self-propelled M109A5+ BR has a longer range and features various improvements that reduce target engagement time by 80%. The guns feature an initial tube velocity gauge to enhance accuracy, as well as an improved positioning and navigation system, a command display unit, digital radios, a gun control system, and a remotely driven tube lock. The A5+ vehicles will also have a positioning and navigation system equipped with GPS and other navigation features independent of satellites.
The M109 is an American 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s to replace the M44. The M109 was developed by the Ground System Division of United Defense LP (now BAE Systems Land and Armaments). The M109 family is the most common Western indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions. M109A5 replaces the 155 mm M185 Cannon in an M178 Mount with a 39-caliber 155 mm M284 Cannon in an M182 Mount, giving the A5 a maximum range of 22,000 meters with unassisted projectiles and 30,000 meters with Rocket Assisted Projectile (RAP) rounds. The vehicle can carry 36 complete rounds of ammunition and has a 440 hp engine instead of the standard 405 hp engine.