Milpower Source to provide battery power for digitizing Army M119A3 field artillery
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J., 22 July 2014. U.S. Army artillery experts needed portable universal battery systems for the project to digitize the M119A3 towed 105-millimeter howitzer. They found their solution from Milpower Source in Belmont, N.H.
Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., announced a $6.7 million contract to Milpower Source on Monday for portable universal battery power electronics systems for the M119A3 howitzer. The company will provide its M793 series high density 6.6-kilowatt NiCad battery input single output DC-DC converters for the job.
This contract is for artillery portable universal battery systems (APUBS) to support the M119A3 digitization effort. The M119A3 is a modernized version of the M119 105-millimeter towed howitzer with digital fire control and an inertial navigation system for self location.
The digitally upgraded M119A3 includes software and hardware upgrades, Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver for navigation, a digital gunner’s display, and digital communication between each gun and the fire direction center to speed receiving firing data and firing shells.
The M119A3 retains manual capabilities to enable gun crews to switch back to analog mode of operation and continue their missions in occasions where digital capabilities are lost.
The modernized towed field artillery piece entered service in April 2013 with A Battery of the 3/319 Airborne Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Bragg, N.C. Alpha Battery of the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division also uses the upgraded M119A3 howitzers, and became the first unit to operate it in theater when they were deployed to northeast Afghanistan last February.
The Milpower Source APUBS is mounted off the M119A3 artillery carriage and connects to external power sources such as its towing vehicle to charge eight internal BB-2590/U type batteries. The APUBS also provides uninterrupted power to the artillery's digital fire control systems via the artillery power distribution assembly (APDA).
The power filters through the DC-to-DC power components of the Milpower Source M793 series power system, which charge the batteries, provide filtered uninterrupted power to the power-distribution system, monitors power output for short-circuits, and provides an audio and visual warning for low battery status.
Army officials awarded the contract to Milpower Source sole-source because the Army needed these systems quickly and Milpower Source has the experience to do that.
The company has produced the APDA and APUBS units for the M150/M151 mortar fire control system for the Army's 120-millimeter mortar as well as the APDA and APUBS for the M119A3 howitzer digital fire control system, and has done a substantial amount of testing and qualification for the fielding of these units, Army officials say.
Milpower is the only contractor with the ability to manufacture a qualified APDA/APUBS to U.S. government standards, officials say, and is the only company with the knowledge and experience to produce the required units in time to support the M119A3 fielding schedule.
The Milpower Source M793 series power units are built rugged enough to meet MIL-STD-810D, MIL-STD-217F, MIL-STD-704A, MIL-STD-704D, and MIL-STD-461C, and operates in temperatures from -40 to 90 degrees Celsius. The unit has 28-volt DC input, 300-volt DC output, and maximum load of 22 amps. The unit weighs 23 pounds.
On this contract Milpower Source complete the work in July 2018. For more information contact Milpower Source online at www.milpower.com or the Army Contracting Command at Picatinny Arsenal at www.pica.army.mil.