Background: From BEA Systems
The Real Thing
The M109A7 program enhances the reliability, maintainability, performance, responsiveness, and lethality of the combat-proven M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer and M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle’s (FAASV) while providing increased commonality within the U.S. Army Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT).
The M109A7 is the latest howitzer in the BAE Systems M109 family of vehicles, the primary indirect fire support system for the ABCTs. It uses the existing main armament and cab structure of a Paladin M109A6, and replaces the vehicle’s chassis components with modem components common to the Bradley vehicle. The improved chassis structure provides greater survivability and commonality with the existing systems in the ABCT, reducing operational sustainability costs by replacing obsolete components. The M109A7 is supported by the Army as a vital technology enhancement program to maintain the combat capability of its ABCTs. The M109A7 will solve long-term readiness and modernization needs of the M109 family of vehicles through a critical redesign and production plan that leverages the most advanced technology available today. This state-of-the-art “digital backbone” and power generation capability provides a more robust, survivable and responsive indirect fire support capability for ABCT Soldiers. The M109A7 is considered to be the most cost-effective method to significantly improve sustainability and survivability, while reducing the logistics burden on the ABCT and supporting fires brigades. The program will be executed as a public/private partnership between the Army’s Project Manager-HBCT, Anniston Army Depot and BAE Systems that leverages the strengths of both public and private sectors to ensure the best value for U.S. Soldiers. The M109A7 production would be performed at Anniston Army Depot, Alabama and BAE Systems facilities in York, Penn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; Endicott, N.Y.; and Elgin, Okla.
The M109 is an American 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s to replace the M44. It has been upgraded a number of times, most recently to the M109A7. Wikipedia
Effective firing range: Conventional: 18 km (11 mi); RAP: 30 km (19 mi)
Operational range: 216 mi (350 km)
Power/weight: 18.7 hp/t
Rate of fire: Maximum: 4 rpm/3 min. Sustained: 1 rpm
Engine: Detroit Diesel 8V71T; 450 hp (335.56 kW)
Crew: 4 (Ammunition handler, Gunner, Commander, Driver)
Caliber: 155 mm L/39 caliber
Panda’s kit is beautiful. It includes photo etch details and individual track links. I have to hand it to Panda. A great kit here.