BAE Systems and Armaments awarded $228 million contract to build new self-propelled howitzer

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YORK — York-based BAE Systems and Armaments LP was awarded a $228 million contract modification to produce up to 228 new M109A7 self-propelled howitzers and M992A3 ammunition carrier vehicles.

The contact was awarded by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, located in Warren, Michigan.

The contract work is expected to be completed in 2022, according to BAE Systems.

The M109 was first introduced in the early 1960s. It is the most common indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions. It is a 155mm turreted self-propelled howitzer that  can sustain a one-round per-minute rate of fire and a maximum rate of fire of four rounds per-minute.

Weighing 78,000 lbs, the M109A7 is 10,000 lbs heavier than its predecessor, and it has the capacity to grow to 110,000 lbs. Even with the weight increase, the M109A7 can travel faster than previous versions at 38 mph  and is more maneuverable than a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

The M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle is built on the chassis of the M109-series howitzer. It is also colloquially referred to as a “cat” (referring to its nomenclature, CAT: Carrier, Ammunition, Tracked). It replaced the M548 supply vehicle. Unlike the M548, it is armored.

This ammunition vehicle has no turret, but has a taller superstructure to store 95 rounds with a corresponding number of powders and primers. There is a maximum of 92 conventional rounds, 45 each in two racks, and 3 M712 Copperhead rounds.

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