US buys M109A7 SPH that fires a new XM1113 rocket-projectile 40 km
WASHINGTON — The US Army has ordered the production and delivery of the latest model of self-propelled howitzers M109A7, rewarding BAE Systems with a contract for $ 24.12 million. The contract includes the production and delivery of the M992A3 tracked carrier ammunition vehicle. The army will expect artillery weapons systems at the end of 2025.
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However, it remains unknown whether these ordered 155mm M109A7 self-propelled howitzers will be armed with a 39-caliber rifle, or as it has long been planned to be replaced by a 58-caliber. This clarification is important as the M109A7 shoots with the latest XM1113 Insensitive Munition High Explosive Rocket Assisted Projectile, or XM1113 RAP. If the range of the cannon is 39th caliber, it means that the maximum range of the howitzer is 40 km, while in the 58th caliber the range is almost doubled – 70 km.
BulgarianMilitary.com assumes that the ordered howitzers will be of the 39th caliber of the left, as the Extended Range Cannon Artillery [ERCA] program is currently underway, and the final result is expected by the end of 2025 when tests will begin at the latest howitzer M1299.
At the beginning of the year in January, the US Army also ordered the production and delivery of M109A7s and M992A3s. Experts predict that the self-propelled howitzer M109A7 will remain in service in the United States until 2050.
M109 SPH is an American 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer, which began its existence in the 60s of last century. This howitzer has 13 modifications. Almost immediately after its creation, the M109 took part in its first war – the Vietnam War, after which it documented participation in almost all wars and conflicts of the last century and the beginning of the 21st century.
The current operators of various modifications of the howitzer are over 35 countries around the world. An extremely popular and effective American weapon system, the howitzer weighs over 27 tons and is 9 meters long, 3.15 meters wide, and 3.25 meters high. It fires 155 mm L / 39 caliber projectiles, a maximum of four shots per minute, and in addition to the M126 155 mm cannon, the howitzer is additionally armed with a .50 caliber [12.7 mm] M2 machine gun. It is powered by a single Detroit Diesel 8V71T engine that provides 450 horsepower. The top speed is 35 mph [56 km / h] and can travel a distance of 216 mi [350 km] on a single tank refueling.
The M109A7 SPH is a significantly improved and updated version designed exclusively for the US Army. As already mentioned, this version fires brand new projectiles with the increased range depending on the caliber of the pair. But unlike other modifications, the M109A7 SPH has a faster electric drive, and automatic ramming more consistently shoves the cartridge into the gun for constant speeds and better accuracy.
The M109A7 is 10,000 lb [4,500 kg] heavier than its predecessors and has the capacity to grow to 110,000 lb [50,000 kg]. Even with the increase in weight, the M109A7 can travel faster than previous versions at 38 mph [61 km / h] and is more maneuverable than the BFV. According to available information and the announced planning of the US government, the Pentagon is expected to purchase a total of 580 sets of M109A7 howitzers.
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