Product Features and Details
M109 Howitzer Histroy: The M109 is an American 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s to replace the M44. It has been upgraded many times, most recently to the M109A7. The M109 family is the most common Western indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions.
The M109 has a crew of four: the section chief/commander, the driver, the gunner, and the ammunition handler/loader. The chief or gunner aims the cannon left or right (deflection) and up and down (quadrant).
The British Army replaced its M109s with the AS-90. Several European armed forces have or are currently replacing older M109s with the German PzH 2000. Upgrades to the M109 were introduced by the U.S. (see variants below) and by Switzerland (KAWEST). With the cancellation of the U.S. Crusader and Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, the M109A6 ("Paladin") will remain the principal self-propelled howitzer for the U.S. for the foreseeable future.
The M109 was the medium variant of a U.S. program to adopt a common chassis for its self-propelled artillery units. The light version, the M108 Howitzer, was phased out during the Vietnam War, but many were rebuilt as M109s.
The M109 saw its combat debut in Vietnam. Israel used the M109 against Egypt in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 1982 and 2006 Lebanon Wars. Iran used the M109 in the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s. The M109 saw service with the British, Egyptian and Saudi Arabian Armies in the 1991 Gulf War. The M109 also saw service with the U.S. Army in the Gulf War, as well as in the Iraq War from 2003-2011.
Upgrades to the cannon, ammunition, fire control, survivability, and other electronics systems over the design's lifespan have expanded the system's capabilities, including tactical nuclear projectiles, Cannon Launched Guided Projectiles (CLGP or Copperhead), Rocket Assisted Projectile (RAP), FAmily of SCAtterable Mines (FASCAM), and improved conventional munitions (the Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition, DPICM).
Incorporated 27 Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) mid-life improvements. Most notably, the long barreled 155 mm M185 cannon in the new M178 gun mount, ballistic protection for the panoramic telescope, counterbalanced travel lock, and the ability to mount the M140 alignment device. Stowage of 155mm rounds increased from 28 to 36 rounds; .50cal ammunition remained at 500 rounds. During M109A2 production, a slightly simplified version was also produced for export. This had minor internal changes and deleted the hull flotation feature. These were designated M109A1B