The U.S. Army today awarded BAE Systems $72.5 million for the production and delivery of Paladin M109A7 and M992A3 vehicles.
The M109A7 is the Army's newest M109 version. Formerly known as the M109A6 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM), the M109A7 uses the existing main armament and cab structure of a Paladin M109A6 self-propelled cannon, and replaces the vehicle’s chassis components with modem components common to the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV).
The M109A7's on-board power systems harness technologies originally developed for the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon; the electric drive is faster than the previous hydraulic system, and the automatic rammer more consistently rams the round into the gun for consistent velocities and better accuracy. It features a 600-volt on-board power system to accommodate additional armor and future networking technologies as they become ready. The M109A7 can sustain a one-round per-minute rate of fire and a maximum rate of fire of four rounds per-minute. Weighing 35,000 kg, the M109A7 is 4,500 kg heavier than its predecessor, and it has the capacity to grow to 50,000 kg. Even with the weight increase, the M109A7 can travel faster than previous versions at 61 km/h and is more maneuverable than a BFV.