The U.S. Army, Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers of the 1-426 Field Artillery Battery to make use of a M109A6 Paladin Howitzer at Fort McCoy, Wis., August 18, 2018. (Photo by Spc. John Russell/U.S. Army)
The Army is the start of a formal production of a new Self-Propelled Howitzer variant designed for faster movement, better structural protection, improved engine power, new suspension, and advanced network tech, service and industry developers said.
The new vehicle is built with a more capable, larger chassis, designed as a first step in the direction of building a next-generation cannon can outgun existing Russian weapons.
As part of a longer-term plan to take advantage of the new, larger chassis built in the Army of the new M109A7 variant, the Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center is beginning work on a new gun, able to hit enemies from a 70 kilometers (43.5 miles), senior Army developers said.
Senior Army weapons developers have stated that the current 80-age 39-caliber Howitzer is outgunned by the Russian equivalent – a scenario of the subscriptions to change.
A 70-km target range, by one estimate, a substantial leap forward for the artillery; when GPS-guided precision 155mm artillery rounds such as Excalibur, cracks in the land combat ‘ n ten years ago – the strike range was reported at approximately 30 km. A self-propelled Howitzer capable of hitting 70 km lays the weapon on a line with a number of the Army of the advanced ground-missiles – such as the precision-enabled Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, which also reaches 70 km.
In a modern threat environment, in which near-peer-and smaller-level rivals in increasingly possess precision-guided land weapons, greater range of C4ISR technology and drone weapons, the increase of the range is a pervasive emphasis on the Army and other services. Russia’s violations of the INF treaty, new S-500 air defenses, new Armata tanks and rapidly growing attack with a drone – fleet – all point to a growing need for US to outrange and outgun opponents.
Furthermore, given the Pentagon the emphasis on cross-domain warfare, land weapons will be increasingly developed to attack things such as enemy ships, aircraft and ground air defenses; of course, the idea is to pinpoint and destroy enemy targets, while remaining on a safer, more protected away.
Former Deputy Program Executive Officer for Missiles & Space, Brig. Gen. Robert Rasch (Rasch, is now the PEO) told the Warrior in a previous interview that the service is making a decided push to upgrade and the development of longer-range weapons as a way to the current threats – and re-adjust after more than 15 years of counterinsurgency.
Build a Higher-Tech, More Deadly Paladin
After years of development and advanced technology, the Army and BAE Systems are now formally entering the full rate of the production of the new M109A7 and the corresponding M992A3 ammunition carrier vehicles. BAE officials said that the new Howitzer, designed to replace the existing M109A6 Paladin, will have 600 volts on-board power generation, high-voltage electric gun drives and the projectile harmless systems.
Army developers say that the A7 has a turret ring down to refresh, including a new fuselage, along with a new suspension and power-train. The new Howitzer, among other things, greatly enhance the speed and mobility in comparison with the A6.
“In the past, the A6 Paladin was the slowest vehicle in the Army. The need to leapfrog. We are restoring the mobility, so that it will be one of the faster vehicles. Howitzers can now outrun 113s,” a senior Army weapons developer said.
Also, as part of the maintenance, the life-cycle and service-extension – all focused on improving the logistics – the new Howitzer is built with a motor and other components common to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle.
Improved on-board power is similar to other emerging higher-tech platforms, designed to allow the vehicle to quickly accommodate upgrades and new weapons technologies as they can – such as lasers, or advanced munitions.
The advanced digital backbone and power generation capability provides significant growth potential for the future the highest possible load capacity, a BAE Systems statement said.
A senior Army official told Warrior Maven that an improvement of the control of connectivity can have multiple Howitzers quickly to share with the firing data, as part of a broader effort to extend battlefield networks and operates in more dispersed formations depending on the mission requirements.
The Army has also worked with the Pentagon, the Strategic Opportunities of the Office to explore additional innovations for the Howitzer platform.
While initially designed and developed for the Navy’s new Rail Gun Weapon, the Pentagon and the Army are now in the firing of the Hyper Velocity Projectile from a Military Howitzer to potential harness in the near-term weapons capability, scope, lethality and range ability to accelerate control of the deployment of the deadly, high-speed round.
The rail gun uses an electromagnetic current to fire a kinetic energy warhead of up to 100 km at a speed of more than 5,000 kilometres per hour, a speed of at least three times as fast as the existing weapons.
— Read Warrior Maven’s Previous Report on the Howitzers in the Firing of the Rail Gun Round, CLICK HERE —
The firing of an Army Howitzer, the hypervelocity projectile it can fire at high speed in the direction of enemy targets to include buildings, power concentrations, weapon systems, drones, aircraft, vehicle, bunkers and even incoming enemy missiles and artillery rounds.
“We can defend against an incoming salvo with a bullet,” a senior Pentagon weapons developer told reporters during earlier tests of the PFSP.
More Weapons and Technology – WARRIOR MAVEN (CLICK HERE)–