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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: 31 Aug 1944 Major fighting ends in New Guinea after Australian and US forces complete a series of successful engagements against the Japanese.   

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:

Four M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzers arrive by rail from the Port of Philadelphia, and are offloaded at Letterkenny Army Depot, PA.
M109A6 self-propelled 155mm howitzer (Paladin) moving toward the Euphrates River during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, Kentucky National Guard, assigned to XXIV Corps, Vietnam, circa 1968.  Vehicle is M-109 155mm SP Howitzer. Courtesy Kentucky National Guard.
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.
Two M109A2 Self-Propelled Howitzers, on the outside, and an M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV) in the center. Members of Howitzer Battery, 3rd ACR, take a break while waiting for their turn during a direct fire exercise on Range 141 at Fort Carson, CO, 22 June 1999.  Carrier, Cargo, Full-Tracked, 6 Ton, M-548 partially visible at left (crane boom).
2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, Kentucky National Guard, assigned to XXIV Corps, Vietnam, circa 1968.  Vehicles are M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzers and M-548 Tracked Cargo Carriers. Courtesy Kentucky National Guard.

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:

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.
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.
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.
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 Kevin Hanvey, a mechanic attached to 2025th Transportation Company, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, inspects heavy equipment transport trucks and trailers (HETS) and their cargo of M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M992A2 Carrier Ammunition Trailers, Forward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq, 7 November 2009. The vehicles will convoy to Contingency Operating Base Speicher, in northern Iraq.

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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