BAE Systems has been awarded a $228 million contract modification for 228 M109 Howitzer vehicle sets for the U.S. Army, a U.S. Department of Defense press release said.
“BAE Systems Land and Armaments LP, York, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $227,855,028 modification (PZ0002) to contract W56HZV-17-C-0001 for the production of up to 228 sets of M109A7 and M992A3 vehicles,” the Thursday, December 21 release said.
Two earlier contracts were issued for the M109. BAE Systems on March 31 was awarded a $133,598,844 firm-fixed-price contract for early procurement material to support M109A7 Paladin howitzer and M992A3 support vehicle production, and on September 19 a $52,234,658 modification to add additional parts and funding was awarded, bringing the total to date under this contract to almost $414 million.
The M109 is a 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s and upgraded several times since, most recently to the M109A7. The M109 family is the most common western weapon of its type.
The M109A7 shares common components with the Bradley Fighting Vehicle including the engine, transmission, and tracks. It can sustain a one-round per-minute rate of fire and a maximum rate of fire of four rounds per-minute. Its top speed is 38 mph (61 km/h).
The accompanying The M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) is built on the same chassis as the M109. It carries 93 rounds – 90 conventional rounds and 3 M712 Copperhead rounds. It has no turret, but a weapons usually mounting a Mk 19 grenade launcher for defense against infantry and light armored vehicles.