BAE Systems successfully fired 155 millimeter projectiles from a M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer modified with the Rheinmetall L52 155mm, 52-caliber cannon. The M109-52 is a significant, low-risk, high-performance upgrade to the current 39-caliber cannon and provides the additional range required in large-scale combat operations. The test, conducted at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, proved the compatibility of the L52 cannon with the M109A7 platform during the live fire exercise. BAE Systems plans to conduct additional testing in 2024, which will highlight extended range across a variety of projectiles. BAE Systems upgrades the lethality of the latest generation M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) by integrating the proven Rheinmetall L52 155mm, 52-caliber cannon system. Merging these two highly capable artillery systems, the M109-52 SPH provides the optimal balance between lethality, system maturity, weight, and reliability.
“We’ve demonstrated that the integrated system of the M109-52 is a viable solution for long-range precision fires modernization needs,” said Dan Furber, director of Ground Vehicle Production for BAE Systems’ Combat Mission Systems business. “Integrating these two highly capable and proven artillery systems provides stable designs and predictable performance.”
At the heart of this groundbreaking transformation is the venerable M109, which has served as the primary indirect fire support system for U.S. Army Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs). Over time, BAE Systems has diligently enhanced the M109’s reliability, maintainability, performance, responsiveness, lethality, and crew survivability, all while promoting increased commonality within ABCTs. The M109’s track record as a battlefield workhorse cannot be overstated. On the other side of the equation stands Rheinmetall’s fielded and battle-tested L52 155mm, 52-caliber cannon, which brings its own set of impressive attributes to the table. This powerful cannon system is currently in service with nine NATO allies and partner nations, further attesting to its prowess and reliability.
One of the standout features of the M109-52 is its enhanced range, which can be further extended with rocket-assisted projectiles. Unassisted, the L52 cannon provides a range of 30 kilometers, while rocket-assisted projectiles push that range to an impressive 60 kilometers. This expanded reach ensures that the M109-52 can effectively engage targets in diverse operational scenarios.Moreover, the M109-52 is fully NATO JBMOU standard compliant, and its integration of the formally approved L52 cannon guarantees interoperability with allied forces. This compatibility enhances the ability of coalition forces to work seamlessly together in joint operations, further solidifying the M109-52’s position as a versatile and reliable artillery platform.