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Subject: M109 Paladin, sticking around for another 1/2 century
doggtag    10/10/2007 8:02:15 PM
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doggtag    from Defense-Aerospace.Com   10/10/2007 8:03:07 PM
BAE Systems, U.S. Army Sign Public-Private Partnership for M109 Family of Vehicles" width=24>" width=600>" width=24>  
(Source: BAE Systems; issued Oct. 9, 2007)" width=24>" width=600>" width=24>','zoom','status=no,width=600,height=397')" href="">" width=300 border=0>
The US Army will reset and upgrade its fleet of M109A6 Paladin self-propelled guns, which will then remain in service beyond 2050. (US Army photo)
WASHINGTON --- BAE Systems and the U.S. Army have signed a memorandum of understanding that will establish a Public-Private Partnership (P3) to develop and sustain the Army's M109 Family of Vehicles throughout their lifecycle.  
Parties to the memorandum signing include BAE Systems leaders, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM), the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, the U.S. Army's Project Manager - Heavy Brigade Combat Team (PM-HBCT), and the Anniston Army Depot (ANAD). The memorandum was signed during the Annual Meeting and Exposition for the Association of the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C.  
The establishment of a P3 will capitalize on the strengths and capabilities of each organization to ensure the cost-effective and on-time reset of the current fleet of M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers and M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicles (FAASV), as well as the planned production of the M109A6/M992A2 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) program unveiled earlier this week.  
"This partnership was established for the benefit of the American soldier," said Col. Paul Lepine, Army PM-HBCT. "The M109 family plays a critical role in the success of the HBCT and we are pleased to partner with BAE Systems and ANAD to ensure these systems continue to provide the performance our Soldiers need to be successful on the battlefield today and into the future."  
The M109 reset activities will be managed by the PM-HBCT, with the goal of creating an integrated, seamless partnership to bring the best value to the soldier, while maintaining necessary skills and competencies in the public and private industrial base.  
Through the P3, ANAD will retain labor and lead the majority of the program, with BAE Systems responsible for materials management.  
"ANAD has proven time and again to be a dedicated workforce focused on meeting the needs of our soldiers through effective combat vehicle reset programs," said Raj Rajagopal, president, Ground Systems, BAE Systems. "We're proud to partner with ANAD and the PM-HBCT to leverage our efficient materials management processes to make M109 FOV reset even more effective, and to work closely as a team to rapidly provide the M109A6-PIM to our soldiers."  
The M109A6-PIM production process will also be led by the PM-HBCT with a direct contract to BAE Systems, who will oversee system design, development and production. ANAD will be integrated into the PIM Integrated Product Development Teams (IPDTs) structure during the design phase and will support the manufacture of the
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doggtag    question for Arty Engineer, or anyone else in the know   10/10/2007 8:09:27 PM
What are your thoughts of the Paladin's gun itself ?
Will it probably stick to the tried-and-true 39-cal ordnance ?
Or would it actually adopt the 38-ish cal NLOS-C barrel, just to maintain identical firing tables (should ease training) ?
And is the Excalibur round built to withstand the launch stresses of, and thus exploit its maximum range potential from, those longer 45- and 52-cal guns we're seeing more of lately (or even longer tubes down the road) ?
Or is the Excalibur going to more or less be preferrable mostly to the shorter 38-39 cal tubes, which can't generate as high of launch pressures as the longer tubes ?
(ArtyEngineer, I'm sure you've answered so much Excalibur stuff for us all here before, but I wouldn't know where to begin looking at past threads to find it, sorry!)
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ArtyEngineer    Doggtag   10/12/2007 11:11:08 AM
I like the Paladin, it a good tried and tested system.  Hear rumblings about "Upgunning" ;)  Even when in full production and large quantities being procured the M982 munition is too expensive to be relied on for the long range mission.  It is not a suppression munition.
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doggtag    precision fire vs suppression fire   10/12/2007 11:31:20 AM
Yeah, I understand that Excalibur isn't for target saturation and barrage-type missions where heavy volume fire for an area effect is needed.
...but I was under the impression that the NLOS-C system was more or less going to move away from that notion into a more precision fire system, utilizing the Excalibur's precision to get away from the need of multiple rounds to suppress a given target. Hence the lighter weight barrel that raised many an argument, countered by some with the suggestion that PGMs would negate the gun being required to fire so many (unguided) rounds over its expected lifetime...or something like that.
Wrong impression?
I figure, if we want mass fire capability (time on target becomes the routine, even preffered, method of choice), then I'd definitely want a stronger-constructed barrel over a lighter weight one (same as the use of heavy barrels on MGs).
Paladin not being so weight conscious, I wouldn't think the Army would care one way or another how heavy a barrel it had, not as much as how long the barrel was.
In all seriousness, since we sadly saw Crusader fall by the wayside, I actually wouldn't mind seeing the gun tech of the AGS naval system carry over into a Paladin gun upgrade. Although, at, what? 55 calibers long? it's even longer than any 52 cal barrels. But just the thought of LRLAPs being able to get at point targets that far away sounds a nice touch for a land artillery system.
Of course, the kicker will be, would there be enough room in the M109 turret to accomodate the LRLAP with an autoloader, not to mention the larger recoil systems that would be associated with the higher pressures a 55 cal tube would generate?
(personally, I still think it's a wasted opportunity that we never saw the 127mm naval gun family migrate over into a land chassis: the Paladin would've been ideal with a 54- or 62-cal 5" gun... USMC might find better use of it, being compatable with the USN's ammo logistics, and there has been plenty of development of 127mm PGMs for naval guns. But again, the fact that some 127mm PGMs were almost 5 feet long might've been quite difficult in the confines of a Paladin's turret.)
Costly or not, I still believe that your Excalibur is going to see wider spread service than Copperhead ever managed.
I also hope we see more implementation of those new fuzes with the flip out disk/fins that screws into a projectile's nose. Even if they aren't precision on the levels that Copperhead was and Excalibur is, being 10-25m closer to a target when you're firing at it 18+ miles away is still nice to have.
Thanks again for your input.
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Jeff_F_F       10/13/2007 9:43:12 AM

ANAD will be a partner in PIM production, responsible for induction of vehicles, overhaul of critical components such as the main armament, as well as modification & upgrade of the cab structure. The partially assembled cabs, along with overhauled components, will be provided to BAE Systems for integration with the PIM chassis - designed and built around commonality with the Bradley family of vehicles.  
 BAE Systems is the premier global defense and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. BAE Systems, with 96,000 employees worldwide, had 2006 sales that exceeded $27 billion on a pro forma basis, assuming BAE Systems had owned Armor Holdings, Inc. for the whole of 2006. (ends)  
Fact Sheet: M109A6 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM)  
Paladin is a combat-proven weapon system that plays a critical role in supporting U.S. ground forces in all phases of combat operations in Iraq. Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) ensures the Army’s Paladin fleet, including both M109A6 and M992 FAASV, remains relevant, ready and sustainable through its projected life beyond the year 2050.  
Paladin is the primary indirect fire support platform within the Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) and PIM is a critical step in redesign to keep Paladin viable and capable of supporting HBCT Soldiers and platforms. PIM leverages currently available technology to provide a more robust, survivable and responsive indirect fire support capability for HBCT Soldiers.  
PIM integrates modern electric gun drive systems to replace the current elevation and azimuth drives designed in the early 1960s. PIM also maximizes commonality with existing systems in the HBCT by replacing obsolete components within the mobility platform (chassis). This increased commonality reduces the system’s logistics footprint and operational and sustainability costs.  
PIM leverages components, systems and proven technologies that are available today from complimentary systems, including the Future Combat Systems NLOS Cannon. These technologies are centered around NLOS Cannon’s proven electric gun drives and projectile loader.  
PIM re-uses key Paladin systems, such as the main armament and cab structure, and leverages BAE Systems’ proven and world leading artillery systems integration capabilities.  
PIM will be executed as a public/private partnership between PM-HBCT, Anniston Army Depot and BAE Systems that leverages the strengths of both public and private sectors.  

Interesting move. Very good. I like this concept better than the NLOS-C in general. It will have basically the same firing performance at a somewhat heavier weight and much lower cost. I think going for commonality with the Bradley is the best move for medium armored vehicles.
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doggtag    Defense Industry Daily articles, and pics of the PIM'ed M109A6...   10/23/2007 8:07:51 PM
Have Guns, Will Upgrade: The M109A6 Paladin PIM Partnership
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Old Paladin.
Note the 7 road wheels per side, and open commander's HMG...
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New Paladin (PIM)
...right side...
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...left side...
Note 6 road wheels now instead of 7, courtesy of Bradley/MLRS components.
Also check out the new&improved commander's station, shield and all (no mention if its an RWS, or upgradeable into one).
Gee, how many more upgrades to the original M109 until we actually call it something other than M109A-Whatever?
(How much more stuff can we keep cramming into/onto the old turret?)
Perhaps the gun will be next, making it compatible on terms with the NLOS-C's and M777's PGM interfacing capabilities.
When all is said and done (cost per unit to upgrade each M109 to PIM standard?),
I wonder if Crusader was still the path we should've followed...
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