Taiwan to acquire 40 US M109A6 155mm self-propelled howitzers

According to information released by the U.S. Department of Defense on August 4, 2021, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer System and related equipment for an estimated cost of $750 million.
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U.S. Army Paladin M109A6 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on tracked armored chassis.  (Picture source U.S. DoD)

TECRO (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) has requested to buy forty (40) 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems; twenty (20) M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles (FAASV); one (1) Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS); five (5) M88A2 Hercules vehicles; five (5) M2 Chrysler Mount .50 caliber machine guns; and one thousand six hundred ninety-eight (1,698) multi-option, Precision Guidance Kits (PGK). Also included are M109A6/M992A2 overhaul, conversion and refurbishment services; Special Tools and Test Equipment (STTE).

This proposed sale of M109A6 SPH will contribute to the modernization of the recipient’s self-propelled howitzer fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats. These systems will contribute to the recipient’s goal of updating its military capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies.

The prime contractor for the Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems will be BAE Systems, Anniston, AL, and Elgin, OK; M992A2 FAASV, Anniston Army Depot (ANAD), Bynum, AL; and M88A2 recovery vehicles, BAE, York, PA. The purchaser has requested offsets. At this time, agreements are undetermined and will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractor.

The M109A6 is an improved version of the M109A1, a 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on tracked armored chassis.  It has a crew of four: the section chief/commander, the driver, the gunner, and the ammunition handler/loader. 

The M109A features an increased armor, a redesigned internal arrangement for safer ammunition and equipment storage, engine and suspension upgrades, and product improvement of the M284 Cannon and M182A1 Mount. Ammunition storage is increased from 36 to 39 155 mm rounds. It can fire all NAT standard 155mm ammunition as well as the Excalibur GPS / inertial navigation-guided extended-range 155mm projectiles. at a maximum firing range of 40 km.

The M88A2 is Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV) also based on a tracked armored chassis. It accompanies the M109A6 and completes the howitzer battery. The M88A2 is an improved version of the M88, a recovery tracked armored vehicle used to conduct battlefield repair and recovery missions.