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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.

Today in WW II: 23 Jul 1940 American Bantam and Willys-Overland submit the only two bids for the Quartermaster Corps light reconnaissance and command cars, the origin of the military jeep.  More 
23 Jul 1941 Original World War II contract for jeeps awarded to Willys with Ford added Nov 1941 to increase production.
23 Jul 1945 Submarine USS Barb [SS-220] destroys a Japanese locomotive and supply train at Patience Bay off the coast of Karafuto, Japan, the only known such attack by a submarine.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

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:

M109 self-propelled 155mm howitzer passing through a German town during a 1983 exercise.
T196 self-propelled gun, standardized in July 1963 as the Howitzer, Medium, Self-Propelled, 155mm, M109.
M109A6 self-propelled 155mm howitzer (Paladin) moving toward the Euphrates River during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Marines of the 2nd Tank Battalion perform maintenance on two M-109 self-propelled 155mm howitzers during Exercise Cold Winter 83, March 1983.
M-109 155mm SP Howitzer, Ft. Drum, NY.
Four M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzers arrive at Letterkenny Army Depot in central Pennsylvania. They travelled from Anniston Army Depot in Alabama to the Port of Charleston, SC. The Paladins were loaded on a Landing Craft, Utility, for shipment to Philadelphia and from there to Letterkenny by rail. The trip was part of a demonstration of Army power-projection capabilities.

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:

Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (M992 FAASV) (left) delivers ammunition to a M-109A6 Paladin howitzer, circa November 2012. Both vehicles now ride on new chassis derived from the Bradley.
U.S. Army Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division connect a tow bar from an M-88 Hercules recovery vehicle to an M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) after a mechanical breakdown during training at Fort Stewart, GA, 6 March  2007.
US Army Specialist Michael Weir assigned to B Battery, 1ST Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, repositions an M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV) at an entry control point entrance gate at the Civil Military Operations Center, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Baqubah, Diyaka, Iraq, 22 July 2004.  M992 FAASV is a variant of the M109 155mm howitzer.
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.
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.
Anniston Army Depot, AL, final inspection process, 13 September 2012.  Tracked vehicles at the left, front are the Carrier, Cargo, Full-Tracked, 6 Ton, M-548.  At back on the left are two of the M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FASSV).  On the right, M1 Abrams tank. Vehicle on left marked 21 looks like an APC but is unidentified.

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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