BAE Systems has received a $299 million contract from the U.S. Army for the production of 40 sets of M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzers and their companion, the M992A3 ammunition carriers. The award, received on July 1, is for production, delivery, and spare parts for these vehicle sets. BAE Systems received the initial contract for M109A7 production in 2017. This most recent order brings the total number of vehicle sets — M109A7 howitzers and M992A3 Carrier, Ammunition, Tracked (CAT) vehicle sets to 310 and the total contract value to $1.9 billion. The M109A7 is the latest howitzer in the BAE Systems M109 family of vehicles, and is the primary indirect fire support system for the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT).
“Providing the most robust, survivable, and responsive indirect fire support capabilities for the ABCT is a primary focus for our artillery program,” said Scott Davis, vice president of ground vehicles for BAE Systems’ Combat Mission Systems business. “We are committed to delivering a vehicle that will provide the modernized capabilities the ABCT needs to execute missions with confidence.”
The M109A7 program provides increased commonality across the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams and has significant built-in growth potential for electrical power and weight capacity. The M109A7 program is a significant upgrade over the vehicle’s predecessor, the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer. The M109A7 vehicle design includes a new chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system, a new high voltage architecture, and improved survivability. M109A7 and M992A3 production and support takes place at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama and BAE Systems facilities in York, Pa.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; Endicott, N.Y.; Elgin, Okla., and Aiken, S.C..
The M109 is an American 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s to replace the M44. It has been upgraded a number of times, most recently to the M109A7. The M109 family is the most common Western indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions. The M109 has a crew of four: the section chief/commander, the driver, the gunner, and the ammunition handler/loader. The chief or gunner aims the cannon left or right (deflection) and up and down (quadrant). Upgrades to the M109 were introduced by the U.S. and by Switzerland (KAWEST). With the cancellation of the U.S. Crusader and Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, the M109A7 will likely remain the principal self-propelled howitzer for the U.S. until the new M1299 enters service.