U.S. Army contracts for full-rate production on M109A7 weapon vehicle

ARLINGTON, Va. The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract that paves the way for full-rate production of the company’s M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer and M992A3 ammunition carrier vehicles. The contract includes an initial $413.7 million portion to complete the third and final option for low-rate initial production on the program; the contract includes additional options that would begin the full-rate production phase, which -- if exercised -- would bring the cumulative value of the award to approximately $1.7 billion.

The M109A7 program upgrades its predecessor, the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer, by implementing a new chassis design that increases survivability and allows for the integration of drive-train and suspension components common to the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. This commonality, says officials, reduces overall program cost and logistical footprint and provides improved mobility and system survivability.

The new M109A7 also uses technologies from previous design programs -- such as a 600-volt on-board power generation, distribution, and management system -- used with a high-voltage electric gun drive and projectile ramming systems. The state-of-the-art digital backbone and power generation ability ensures growth potential for future payloads and usability with existing battlefield network requirements.

BAE Systems will initially produce 48 vehicle sets, with the options calling for 60 sets per year, which will result in approximately three years of deliveries thereafter during full-rate production. Work on the M109A7 is now going on at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabam, and at BAE Systems’ facilities in York, Pennsylvania; Elgin, Oklahoma; Aiken, South Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Endicott, New York.

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