The Army awarded a follow-on contract of about $142 million to BAE Systems to continue low rate initial production (LRIP) of the M109A7 self-propelled howitzer and M992A3 ammunition carrier.

BAE was awarded a one-year base contract in October 2013 for the M109A7 and M992A3, formerly known as the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) program (Defense Daily, Nov. 1, 2013). The current contract is the first of three options to produce 18 more vehicle sets each. Every vehicle set consists of one M109A7 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer and one battlefield companion M992A3 Carrier Ammunition, Tracked (CAT).

M109A7 Paladin. Photo: U.S. Army
M109A7 Paladin. Photo: U.S. Army

If all contract options are exercised, the Army would purchase 66.5 vehicle sets total with additional spares, kits, and technical documentation.

The A7 variant restores space, weight, and power cooling to the vehicle, while providing growth potential for emerging technologies, the company said in a statement.

“BAE Systems is proud to partner with the Army to continue production on this important upgrade program,” Adam Zarfoss, director for Artillery and Recovery Systems at BAE, said in a statement. “The M109A7 is a significant leap forward in technology for the Field Artillery, addressing the current system shortfalls while providing significant margin for growth to help position the service for the long term.”

Work on the M109A7 is ongoing at the Anniston Army Depot, Ala., and at BAE’s York, Pa., facility. Final production will occur at the company’s Elgin, Okla., facility.

The first vehicles are scheduled to be delivered to the Army in early 2015.