The U.S. Army plans to begin in November, a major step test 155-mm self-propelled howitzer (SG) M-109A6 "Paladin", which received the designation M-109A6 PIM («Paladin" with built-in control).
As reported by "International's Defence Review ', with reference to the control applets languid brigade combat teams Col. Bill Sheehy, limited tests of the customer M-109A6 PIM is scheduled to begin November 1, 2012 at the site "Yum." According to their results will decide on small-scale production of improved plants.
The aim is to extend the PIM programs from the life of the howitzers M-109A6 in the long term (30-40 years) and increase their combat abilities.
As part of the August 2009 contract price of 63.9 million dollars, "BAE Systems" in May 2011 put the U.S. Army 5 of prototypes ACS M-109A6 PIM and two cars replenish their ammunition supply of munitions M-992A2 FAASV (Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles).
According to the representative of the "BAE Systems" Roy Perkins, to this day, the total mileage of the samples exceeded the 5 most experienced four thousand miles, and in the process of firing has been applied more than 28 pieces of ammunition.
M-109A6 PIM, saving has recently remodeled cabin and 155-mm long 39-caliber gun, has been upgraded with the introduction of the latest technologies, including digital equipment of the fire control system, advanced automatic loading system.
Electronic tools have changed the hydraulic actuator control system, developed initially 1960s. Obsolete chassis has been replaced with upgraded suspension components and frame designed for combat vehicle "Bradley". The engine "Detroit Diesel" power of 440 hp replaced by a diesel engine, "Cummings» V903 output of 600 hp, which is also armed with "Bradley". As a result, a lot of options PIM increased in comparison with the base version. Machine FAASV chassis is also made to "Bradley".
As previously reported, a total difficulties was 975 self-propelled howitzers M-109A6 "Paladin". U.S. Army plan to upgrade to the standard PIM up to 580 of them. The draft budget for 2013 fiscal year includes the allocation of 206 million dollars for the purchase of 17 self-propelled howitzers M-109A6 PIM and 17 machines supply of munitions FAASV.