US Army M109A7 self-propelled howitzer and M992A3 field artillery ammunition support vehicle.
US Army M109A7 self-propelled howitzer and M992A3 field artillery ammunition support vehicle.

BAE Systems Awarded $466 Million US Army Contract for M109A7 and M992A3 Production

BAE Systems Land and Armaments L.P., York, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $466,413,360 modification (P00131) to contract W56HZV-17-C-0001 for M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPH) and M992A3 Carrier, Ammunition, Tracked (CAT) vehicles, Total Package Fielding support hardware kits, and support. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, is the contracting activity. Work will be performed in York, Pennsylvania; Sterling Heights, Michigan; Aiken, South Carolina; Elgin, Oklahoma; and Anniston, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 30, 2026. Fiscal 2022 weapons and tracked combat vehicle procurement, Army funds in the amount of $83,261,562 were obligated at the time of the award.

Troopers with 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment (2-82 FA), 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, send the first set of Artillery rounds down range with the new M109A7 Paladin, Sept. 17, 2020.
Troopers with 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment (2-82 FA), 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, send the first set of Artillery rounds down range with the new M109A7 Paladin, Sept. 17, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Calab Franklin)

The M109 has been upgraded a number of times, most recently to the M109A7 formerly known as the M109A6 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM). The M109A7 uses the existing main armament and cab structure of a Paladin M109A6, and replaces the vehicle’s chassis components with modem components common to the Bradley vehicle. The improved chassis structure provides greater survivability and commonality with the existing systems in the ABCT, reducing operational sustainability costs by replacing obsolete components. The M109A7 will solve long-term readiness and modernization needs of the M109 family of vehicles through a critical redesign and production plan that leverages the most advanced technology available today.

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The M992A3 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) Carrier Ammunition Tracked (CAT) in the maintenance bay at the U.S. Army Ordnance School, Fort Lee, Virginia.
The M992A3 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) Carrier Ammunition Tracked (CAT) in the maintenance bay at the U.S. Army Ordnance School, Fort Lee, Virginia. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Christopher M. Robbins)

The M992A3 Carrier, Ammunition, Tracked (CAT) is built on the chassis of the M109-series Self-Propelled Howitzers. It is also colloquially referred to as a “FAASV” (Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle). This ammunition vehicle has no turret, but has a taller superstructure to store 95 rounds with a corresponding number of powders and primers. 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. The remaining internal crew space was taken up by a hydraulically powered conveyor system designed to allow the quick uploading of rounds or their transfer to the M109-series howitzer.

US Army Mannheim APS-2 Site Receives M109A7 Paladin Self-propelled Artillery Systems
Unloading the three dozen next-generation M109A7 Paladin Artillery Systems and M992A3 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles from the trains and moving them to the Army Prepositioned Stock-2 Coleman worksite.(U.S. Army photo by Cameron Porter)

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 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). The M109A7 can travel faster than previous versions at 38 mph (61 km/h) and is more maneuverable than a BFV. 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.

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