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BAE Systems contract to produce M109A7 howitzers M992A3 for U.S. Army.

| 2017

The U.S. Army has awarded the Company BAE Systems a contract to start the production of the company’s M109A7 155mm tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer and M992A3 tracked ammunition carrier vehicles.

BAE Systems contract to produce M109A7 howitzers M992A3 ammunition carrier vehicle for US Army 925 001
M109A7 155mm self-propelled howitzer on tracked armoured vehicle chassis (Picture source Army Recognition)

The contract includes an initial $413.7 million award to execute the third and final option for low-rate initial production on the program. Options are also included that would begin the full-rate production phase, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the award to approximately $1.7 billion.

BAE Systems will initially produce 48 vehicle sets, with the options calling for 60 sets per year for approximately three years of deliveries thereafter during full-rate production.

The M109A7 consists of a new chassis design for improved performance, upgraded survivability, and components common to other Army vehicles, as well as additional key features.

“We have been working with the Army to design, develop, build, and test this vehicle for several years,” said Adam Zarfoss, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems’ Combat Vehicles U.S. business. “By working closely with our customer, we were able to design a vehicle that meets the needs of the current forces, and provides the system infrastructure and electrical power generation that leaves ample room to incorporate future capabilities.”

The M109A7 program is a significant upgrade over the vehicle’s predecessor, the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer. It uses the existing main armament and cab structure of the M109A6, but replaces the vehicle’s chassis structure with a new design that increases survivability and allows for the integration of drive-train and suspension components common to the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. This commonality reduces overall program cost and logistical footprint, and provides improved mobility and system survivability to maintain dominance on the battlefield.

The M109A7 also leverages technologies from previous design programs, such as a 600-volt on-board power generation, distribution, and management system, coupled with a high-voltage electric gun drive and projectile ramming systems. The state-of-the-art digital-backbone and power generation capability provides significant growth potential for future payloads, and will accommodate existing battlefield network requirements. The upgrades ensure commonality with the existing systems in the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Team, including the BAE Systems-built Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle family.

BAE Systems contract to produce M109A7 howitzers M992A3 ammunition carrier vehicle for US Army 925 002
M992A3 tracked ammnunition carrier vehicle (Picture source Deviant Art Website)

The M992A3 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) is built on the same chassis that the M109A7.Also known as the CAT (Carrier Ammunition Tracked) this vehicle serves as a heavily armored munitions carrier. More specifically, munitions designed fore the M109A7 tracked self-propelled howitzer.

The M992A3 Fis basically the chassis of a standard M109A7 tracked self-propelled howitzer with the turret replaced by a fully enclosed superstructure. Inside this superstructure which is used to store ammunition and charges for the M109A7. Its superstructure can carry 95 artillery rounds, powders, and primers.

The M109A7 SPH and M992A3 CAT comprise a modernization effort to improve size, weight, power, cooling, readiness, force protection and survivability, and to increase sustainability of the M109A6 Paladin and the M992A2 FAASV (Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle) platforms through 2050.

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