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M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer

The M109 series of 155mm self-propelled howitzers was first introduced in 1962, replacing the M44 155mm self-propelled howitzer. The M109 was used in the Vietnam War. Continually upgraded and improved, it is still the primary indirect fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions.

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M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer

The first model M109 had a very short barrel tipped with a double baffle muzzle brake and with a large fume extractor (bore evacuator) mid-barrel. The versions deployed to Southwest Asia were the M109A2 or later models with a longer gun tube than the M109 or M109A1 varients.

The M109A2, M109A3 and M109A4 howitzers used the M185 cannon with a range of 23,500 meters. The range was increased to 30,000 meters with the M109A5 and M109A6 by replacement of the M185 23 caliber long barrel with the M284 cannon 39-caliber barrel.

The M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer fires a variety of 98 pound 155mm munitions including High Explosive, Illuminating, Smoke, Rocket Assisted and Laser Guided. It can carry 22 rounds of separate loading 155mm ammunition and 500 rounds of machine gun ammo for the M2 .50 caliber machine gun mounted on top.

The 55,000 pound M109 has a maximum road speed of 35 mph, with a driving range of nearly 220 miles without refueling. The M109 is used extensively by NATO forces and other countries such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.

M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer (Paladin)

The M109A6, named the Paladin, is the latest variant of the M109 series, the result of an improvement program completed in 1990. The Paladin's improvements included a new cannon with a 25 percent increase in maximum range to 30 kilometers, improved crew protection against artillery fragmentation and nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) hazards, automatic fire control, a position-locating device, SINCGARS radios, driver's night vision capability, and built-in test equipment. The Army planned to procure 824 Paladins, and production began in October 1991.

The M109A6 (Paladin) howitzer is the most technologically-advanced self-propelled cannon system in The U.S. Army. The A6 designation identifies evolutionary changes to earlier models that provide improvements to weapon survivability, responsiveness, reliability, availability and maintainability, armament and terminal effects.

The M109 155mm SP Paladin Integrated Management, or M109 PIM, is slated to begin low-rate initial production in 2013. The 40-ton, next-generation 155mm Howitzer artillery cannon is able to fire precision rounds, accommodate additional armor protections and power more on-board electrical systems. The M109 PIM chassis and drive train will be modified to use components of the M2/M3 Bradley vehicles to increase commonality of logistics and maintenance.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

Wheeled and tracked military vehicles disembark from MSC large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Brittin, Bremerhaven, Germany, 2004. Lead vehicle is the M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle for the M109 155mm howitzer, followed by an M939 5-ton 6x6 truck and FMTV truck.  In FY 2004, the US Navy Sealift Program delivered the combat cargo and equipment needed by U.S. forces engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom and other theaters of operation.
An M109A6 Paladin fires a 155mm round at its target more than 5,000 meters away during the 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regiment Paladin live-fire exercise at a range on Fort Hood, TX, 22 September 2010.
As the Army responsibly draws down from Iraq, Logisticians need to move more than 3 million pieces of equipment, such as this M992 field artillery ammunition supply vehicle (FAASV), the companion for the M109 155mm SP howitzer.  Markings indicate 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, in Iraq 2008-2009.
U.S. Army Soldiers from the 662nd Movement Control Team, 25th Transportation Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade observe the arrival of M109A6 Paladin self-propelled Howitzers via rail car at Camp Casey, South Korea, 27 March 2007. The paladins will be used to support exercise Reception, Staging, Onward movement, and Integration/Foal Eagle 2007.
M109A1 155mm artillery firing crew during a break from CLGP Time & Motion Studies held at Fort Sill, Lawton, OK, 27 October 1972.
M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer at the National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, CA, circa 1984.

M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV)

The M109 howitzer is served by the M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV). FAASV is a full-tracked companion to the M109 built on a 2-feet extended chassis of the M109-series howitzer. It replaced the Carrier, Cargo, Full-Tracked, 6 Ton, M-548. M992 FAASV is also referred to as the Carrier, Ammunition, Tracked (CAT).

Several variants of the M992 FAASV have been fielded, including the A1 and A2.

The M992 FAASV carries up to 90 conventional 155mm rounds for the M109, filling two racks of 45 each. In addition, three M712 Copperhead rounds are provided for. Crews transfer the ammunition from the M992 FAASV to the M109 using a conveyor system or by hand. The M992 has a small diesel engine auxiliary power generator for its own needs plus that of the M109, via a slave cable, so the main engines can be shut down when not needed to move the vehicles.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

An M88 recovery vehicle from the 3rd Infantry Division recovers an M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) that broke down during convoy operations at Fort Stewart, GA, 6 March 2007, as an observer controller from the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA, takes pictures of recovery efforts.
A US Army M109A6 155mm Paladin self-propelled howitzer fires its main gun down range at the Multiple Purpose Training Range, Fort McCoy, WI, April 2001. An M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV) is parked in support position.
M110 203mm (8 inch) self-propelled howitzer (left) with an M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV), modified to support the M110 howitzer.
US Army SSGT Anothy Allen directs an M992 Field Artilery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV) into place during an exercise at Camp Shelby, MS, 19 April 2007. U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina Army National Guard are currently performing their annual Brigade training at Camp Shelby.
Artillerymen from Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, move an M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) across a range to provide support during their M109A6 155mm Paladin live-fire exercise, Fort Hood, TX, 22 September 2010.  The M992 FAASV is based on the chassis of the M109 155-mm self-propelled howitzer. The turret of the M109 was replaced with a covered superstructure designed to hold ammunition storage racks and a power-operated conveyor belt.
Test technicians return to the High Powered Microwave facility control room after repositioning the M992 Ammunition Supply Vehicle for another test at the Army Test and Evaluation Command's Survivability, Vulnerability and Assessment Directorate, White Sands Missile Range, NM, 29 April 2013. After each shot the vehicle was repositioned to test how it's systems would react to microwaves being projected at it from different angles.

M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer Photo Gallery

M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer. Photo: Zupanja, Croatia, 1996
M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer. Photo: Zupanja, Croatia, 1996.

M-109A2 at 1st Cavalry Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005.  Photo:  Courtesy of Bob Pettit
M-109A2 at 1st Cavalry Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

M-109A2 at 1st Cavalry Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005.  Photo:  Courtesy of Bob Pettit
M-109A2 at 1st Cavalry Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer on transporter, Interstate 20, Ft. Worth, TX. Photo:  Courtesy of Bob Pettit
M-109 155mm howitzer on transporter, Interstate 20, Ft. Worth, TX. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

Two M-109 howitzers on transporters, 2005. Photo:  Courtesy of Bob Pettit
Two M-109 howitzers on transporters, 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

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