Thursday, December 2, 2010


In parallel to NLOS-C, the US is investing in the M109A6/M992A Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) update, designed to provide greater manoeuvrability, protection and lethality, to enable the M109 to remain in
service until 2060. Both the NLOS-C and PIM vehicles will be manufactured at the same BAE Systems plant. PIM will enable greater commonality with the M2/3 Bradley fleet’s engine, transmission and suspension in the field as well as sharing the NLOS-C’s flick rammer, boosting long term sustainability across Heavy
Brigade Combat Teams.

The M109A6 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) 155-mm self-propelled howitzer system will be assembled at the same plant in Elgin, Oklahoma, as the Army’s Future Combat Systems’ (FCS’) Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C), BAE Systems announced on 14 March. The 150,000 square-foot facility is scheduled to be completed in 2009, and the PIM will go into production a few years before the NLOS-C. PIM’s addition to the product line will triple the facility’s projected production volume during its first 10 years. 

The M109A6 and M992A, which together comprise the PIM—also known as the M109 Family of Vehicles is part of a sustainability program engineered to improve readiness, avoid components’ obsolescence, reduce the logistical burden and increase sustainability of the platforms out to the year 2060.

M109 upgrades

The PIM lethality upgrade centres on equipping the Paladin to fire Excalibur and precision guidance fuze kits.
The first prototype is due to be submitted for testing in 2009 with the first unit equipped in 2011. A total of 600 vehicles will receive the upgrade with the M109 and M992 PIMs having a projectile stowage capability of 43 and 95 respectively. By 2020, under the National Level Recap programme, all M109s in service will be to this standard.

With the platform in such wide service, upgrades are regularly sought. Denel has upgraded UAE M109s to the M109L47 standard, which includes improved gun laying technology in conjunction with RUAG Land
Systems. RUAG have also upgraded a number of Swiss M109s to the L47 standard, chosen because the light weight of the barrel, compared to a L52 solution allows a more cost effective upgrade while obtaining ranges of over 36km. Rheinmetall Waffe Munition has developed a prototype of the M109L52 SPH,
which incorporates elements of the PzH2000 and much improved fire control system.

BAE Systems also has its own M109 L52 upgrade known as the International Howitzer but this has yet to gain a customer.  The upgrades will allow the PIM to fire Excalibur (XM982) rounds and the precision guidance kit fuzes. The sustainment program will allow maintainability and sustainability of the PIM through commonality with the FCS NLOS-C and the heavy brigade combat team’s (HBCT’s) Bradley fighting vehicle (See “PIM: The Next Generation Paladin” by Major Corey B. Chassé in the January-February edition of Fires).
NLOS-C. Projected for fielding in 2017, NLOS-C will give the BCT commander unprecedented responsiveness and lethality. The C-130 and C-17 transportable, 155-mm, 38-caliber cannon has the features common to all FCS, including the battle command system; planning, training and communications
software; maintenance parts and procedures; water generation; resupply implementation; and others. It will be able to move rapidly, stop quickly, deliver lethal first-round effects on target in record time and will handle ammunition loading and firing automatically.


Post a Comment

content="KxPS6GPOk1jXixOC5uWVt4sKw8A" />