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M109 (Paladin) 155mm Self-Propelled Gun (1963)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 5/25/2011

The M109 Paladin provides artillery support for armored and mechanized infantry divisions.

Much like the 1960's era M113 armored personnel carrier, the M109 Paladin self-propelled gun has enjoyed a unique and long service life thanks in large part to sound design and a never ending series of upgrade programs. With each new revision, the basic M109 has evolved into a more accurate and devastating system that has seen usage in multiple inventories across the globe. The M109 continues to serve in frontline functions with some of the most advanced and active armies of the world.

The M109 first appeared in 1962. System sported a similar chassis to the one used in the M108 self-propelled gun. The M109 is currently represented by the M109A6 variant, which features some modifications to previous M109's that include the M284 155mm main gun, computer fire-control system and the decrease of crew from six to four personnel. Three of the crew take up the turret and consist of the commander, gunner and loader whilst the driver maintains the controls in a forward hull position.

As mentioned, modernization programs have increased the accuracy and lethality of the M109 series as a whole. Additionally, the overall rate of fire has increased to a respectable four rounds per minute for up to three minutes sustained. Rocket-assisted munitions have helped to increase the effective range of the main gun while improvements to the NBC systems, overall systems reliability and computer assistance have helped in maintaining crew accuracy and survivability.

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Specifications for the
M109 (Paladin)
155mm Self-Propelled Gun


Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: United Defense, LP, York, PA - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1963
Production: 6,200


Focus Model: M109A6 (Paladin)
Crew: 4


Overall Length: 31.73ft (9.67m)
Width: 10.30ft (3.14m)
Height: 11.88ft (3.62m)
Weight: 31.8 US Short Tons (28,849kg; 63,601lbs)


Powerplant: 1 x Detroit Diesel Model 8V-71T LHR turbocharged liquid-cooled 8-cylinder diesel engine with an output of 405bhp @ 2,300rpm.


Maximum Speed: 40mph (64.4 km/h)
Maximum Range: 214 miles (344 km)


NBC Protection: Yes - Optional
Nightvision: Yes - Passive or Infra-red for Driver


Armament:
1 x 155mm M284 howitzer main gun
1 x 12.7mm M2 anti-aircraft heavy machine gun


Ammunition:
39 x 155mm projectiles
500 x 12.7mm ammunition


Variants:
M109 - First production model


M109A1 - Longer Main Gun Barrel; Minor Overall Improvements.

M109A2 - Minor Improvements to M109A1

M109A3 - New gun mount and improved RAM-D

M109A4 - Improved NBC system; Also covers all updated M109A2 or M109A3 models.

M109A5 - Updated M109A4

M109A6 - Latest production model; New turret with automatic fire control system and added armor.

M109A3G - German Army export variant known as M109G.

M109L - Italian Army export variant

M109AL 'Doher' - Israeli Army export variant

M109L47 - United Arab Emirates and Swiss export variant featuring .47 caliber main gun barrel.

M992 FAASV - Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (ammunition carrier).


Operators:
Belgium; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Denmark; Germany; Egypt; Ethiopia; Greece; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kuwait; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Peru; Philippines; Portugal; Saudi Arabia; Spain; Switzerland; Taiwan; Thailand; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; United States; West Germany