BAE Systems adds to contract for upgrading Paladin artillery with new engine and vetronics

WARREN, Mich., 13 Nov. 2013. Armored combat vehicle experts at the BAE Systems Land and Armaments LP segment in York, Pa., are adding to their company's lucrative contract to begin low-rate production of an upgraded version of the U.S. Army M109 self-propelled field artillery cannon.

On Tuesday BAE Systems received a $26.5 million contract for an option on a recently awarded $195.4 million contract for low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) version of the M109 self-propelled howitzer.

The Paladin PIM program vetronics uses a 600 volt on-board power system using technologies developed during the now-cancelled Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) program. This digital backbone and power-generation capability integrates electric elevation and traverse drives, an electric rammer, and a digital fire control system.

The Paladin PIM program enhances the Paladin artillery, as well as the M992a2 field artillery ammunition support vehicle (FAASV), with electronic and structural upgrades that involve replacing the vehicle’s chassis components with modem components common to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, a fast-moving armored personnel carrier. Tuesday's $26.5 million contract to BAE is for Paladin PIM LRIP technical data package and electronic technical manuals.

Two weeks ago BAE Systems received a $195.4 million LRIP contract -- with a potential total value of $688 million -- to build 19 Paladin PIM self-propelled howitzers, 18 carrier ammunition tracked (CAT) vehicles, 13 howitzer threshold 2 (T2) armor kits, 11 CAT T2 armor kits, and 37 lots of basic issue items.

Through future options, the Army intends to buy a total of 66.5 vehicle sets plus spares, kits, and technical documentation for a total contract value of $688 million, BAE Systems officials say.

The Paladin PIM program restores space, weight, and power-cooling, while providing growth potential for emerging technologies in the field artillery system, say company officials.

The PIM design includes a new chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system, and improved survivability, while the vehicle’s 155-millimeter cannon remains the same as the original Paladin's. These upgrades capitalize on components of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle to cut overall costs and enabling the PIM to keep up with the Army's fast armored brigade combat team.

This technology provides significant growth potential for future payloads as well as accommodating existing battlefield network requirements, BAE Systems officials say.

Work on the big contract awarded on 30 Oct. 2013 will be in York, Pa., and Elgin, Okla. The first Paladin PIM vehicle should be delivered in mid-2015. Awarding the contracts on Tuesday and two weeks ago were officials of the Army Contracting Command, Tank and Automotive, in Warren, Mich.

For more information contact BAE Systems Land and Armaments online at www.baesystems.com, or the Army Contracting Command Warren at www.tacom.army.mil.

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