M109A5 155mm SP Howitzer
The M109A5 is a modified M109A4 it consists of two major improvements: a new M284 cannon and a new M182 gun mount. These improvements provide the M109A5 with greater range and allow for sustained fire for prolonged periods of time.
Over 950 existing M109s have been rebuilt as the M109A6 Paladin. The Paladin configuration is achieved through extensive modifications to existing M109A2/A3 vehicle hulls and the subsequent introduction of an entirely new turret structure. The remaining M109 howitzer fleet has received the M109A5 upgrade, which included some of the same automotive and crew NBC protection improvements as well as the Paladin's M284 cannon and M182 gun mount.
A requirements survey was forwarded to authorized security assistance customer countries on 10 February 2003 , advising of the availability of Long Supply M109A5 self-propelled (SP) 155mm howitzers at a reduced price. The howitzers are available for immediate sale to countries addressed in the survey. These countries were determined by Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Commerce and State Department review. Upon receiving acknowledgement of interest from a foreign customer addressed in the message, allocations will be made, as received, on a "case by case basis." Allocations may be constrained by the number of available assets remaining and it is possible that all howitzers may be committed.
The M109A5, 155mm SP medium howitzer is a vehicle that provides armored combat support, is air transportable, internally loaded, and has excellent ground mobility. The M109A5's main armament is the 39-caliber, M284 cannon, which has a maximum range of 23,500 meters with unassisted projectiles and 30,000 meters with Rocket Assisted Projectiles (RAP Rounds). The cab of the M109A5 rotates in a full 360-degree circle, allowing operation of both its primary (the 155mm cannon assembly) and secondary (the M2 heavy barrel caliber 50 machine gun or MK19 40mm Grenade Launcher) armament in any direction. The system is capable of both direct (line of sight) and indirect (out of the line of sight) firing. The vehicles have a cruising range of 220 miles at speeds up to 35 miles per hour.
The M109A5 howitzer gives the customer the maximum flexibility to tailor modifications to meet desired missions requirements. It can accommodate future technology and is economical to purchase, operate, and maintain. The M109 family of howitzers continues to be improved to generate additional operational capabilities and cost savings for the customer. It continues to be backed by the extensive life-cycle sustainment support of the weapon's proponent.
The FMS price is $292,721 per howitzer, and excludes packaging, handling, crating and transportation costs. The howitzers are being offered in "as is-where-is" condition. Some of the vehicles may have visible signs of wear and corrosion and various shades of paint; but all of them are rendered serviceable, structurally sound, and are economically reparable. Further, the howitzers may be missing: Components of End Item (COEI); Basic Issue Items (BII); Auxiliary Equipment; and other Additional Authorized List (AAL) type items; be in excess of hour/mileage standards; and may not have applicable publications/records. Therefore, a Joint Visual Inspection (JVI), by country personnel, is strongly recommended to determine if the allocated Long Supply Howitzers meet customer's specifications/standards. Most of the howitzers are stored inside at one location in the United States for the recommended JVI (at this location, the vehicles are currently stored in a humidity controlled environment).
The M109A5 howitzers can be brought to a Fully Mission Capable (FMC) Standard prior to delivery for an additional cost. This option can be achieved at the current storage facility prior to shipment. This Program ensures that all of the howitzer's systems and subsystems are fully operational and standards are met in accordance to the Operational Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS) of 10/20 Manuals. Oil samples will be taken and analyzed from the engines, transmissions, and hydraulic systems to ensure that these systems are in good shape and do not have any detectable problems. The traversing, elevation, fire control, rammer, personnel heater, gun mount, and cannon systems will be checked for proper operation and repaired as needed.
All of the replenishers, recuperators, and fire control nitrogen charges will be checked and re-charged as needed. The fire extinguishers will be checked for proper load to ensure that they are fully charged and ready for operation. If the customer plans to use the vehicle with the VIC-1 intercom system, it will be checked to ensure proper operation. The outside of the vehicle will be repainted according to the customer's color requirements, and the inside of the crew compartment will be painted as needed. The fuel system will be flushed and any contaminants will be removed from it. New batteries will be installed in all of the vehicles, and all track pads with less than 50 percent of life remaining will be replaced.
Finally, the vehicles will be driven two miles as a road test to ensure that they have no mobility problems and each vehicle will have a minimum of 50 gallons of fuel in their tanks for ease of loading and off-loading them during shipping. This proposed repair program is designed to ensure that the customer receives a good-looking, fully operational howitzer for as little cost as possible. If the customer desires additional upgrade component replacement (new 8V71T-91 Series Engines; overhauled/modified XTG-411-4 Transmissions; new T154 track, etc.), their requirements can be easily added to the Scope of Work (SOW) for the repair program and the customer would have to pay for these additional requirements. Further, thirty percent of the M109A5 Howitzers have a restriction on either the Breech Block or Breech Ring; however, these items can be replaced at an additional cost. If the customer selects one of these vehicles during the JVI, the Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) for these items will be provided at that time.
The M109A5 155mm SP howitzer may also be upgraded to the more modern M109A6 SP howitzer (Paladin). The Paladin provides a revolutionary advance in performance, responsiveness and survivability. Able to operate independently, it has a firing range up to 30 km with the standard M284 39-caliber 155mm main armament. From the move, the M109A6 Paladin can receive a fire mission, compute firing data, select and take up firing positions, automatically unlock and point its cannon, fire the first round in under 60 seconds and move - day or night. This "shoot and scoot" capability not only significantly improves responsiveness to calls for fire, it also protects the vehicle and crew from counter battery fire - significantly improving survivability.
Paladin features include an Automatic Fire Control System with onboard ballistic computation and automatic weapon pointing, an integrated inertial navigation system with embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) processing, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) protection with climate control, hydraulics system segregation, and secure voice and digital communications. Hull , turret, suspension and automotive upgrades significantly increase reliability, providing 40 percent greater operational availability than previous versions of the M109. On board, embedded electronic diagnostics improve maintenance and repair functions.
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