New hybrid navigation system into Spanish 155mm howitzers

MADRID ($1=1.01 Euros) — Spain will modernize some of the towed and self-propelled 155mm howitzers in its inventory. These are the M109 A5E [self-propelled howitzer] and 155/SIAC [towed howitzer] models. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Spain recently sent the M109 A5E to Latvia, but still has units of it in its inventory.

New hybrid navigation system into Spanish 155mm howitzers
Photo credit: Wikimedia

The M109 A5E upgrade includes a new hybrid navigation system. This means a system built from inertial navigation and GPS. According to the Spanish source InfoDefensa, the system is locally produced. Its primary function will be to improve the targeting of the M109 A5E for more accurate engagement. The system also includes new radars and new software that should improve ballistics on both types of targets – mobile and stationary.

Although the M109 A5E is an outdated howitzer, the Spanish have been modernizing it in recent years. For example, one part of these howitzers received new tubular barrels. Money has now been set aside to test the accuracy of howitzers if they use the Excalibur round, which is one of the best 155mm rounds in the world.

The 155/SIAC towed howitzer will feature a completely different upgrade – a new braking system. The new brakes have not yet been designed, but the Spanish government has set aside €150,000 for design alone. 155/SIAC will also receive a fine-tuning of its components, InfoDefense also writes, saying that this will cost 400,000 euros. Not only the 155/SIAC howitzers of the artillery military units but also the coastal units of Spain will receive a similar update. Coastal artillery is APU-SBT V07.

New hybrid navigation system into Spanish 155mm howitzers
Photo credit: GDELS

In recent years, Spain has invested considerable funds in the renovation and maintenance of these two howitzers. There are orders for their reports, as well as the supply of spare parts for millions of euros.

Last but not least, the range of the M109 A5E self-propelled howitzer was increased. This happened thanks to the new Expal ammunition. They are the reason why Spain believes that the Excalibur ammunition will be able to increase not only the range but also the combat capability of the Spanish artillery.

The M109 is a 1970s American self-propelled howitzer made in the USA. Spain’s artillery currently operates 90 units of the M109 A5E version. The howitzer can fire up to six rounds per minute, which is standard for most howitzers of this type. The range of impact is from 18 to 30 km. Weighing over 24 tons, it can travel a distance of up to 350 km on a full tank of fuel and travel at a top speed of 56 km/h.

The 155/SIAC howitzer is of Spanish manufacture. At the beginning of this century, its acquisition by the Spanish army began. Can fire up to eight projectiles within a minute. There is a shore version – APU-SBT V07. This howitzer has a greater operational maximum range than the M109 – 40 km. It is eight meters long and weighs 13 tons.

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