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M109A6 Paladin

155-mm self-propelled howitzer

M109A6 Paladin SPH

The US Army continues to rely on the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer

Entered service 1991
Crew 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 28.8 t
Length (gun forward) 9.67 m
Hull length 6.8 m
Width 3.14 m
Height 3.62 m
Main gun 155-mm
Barrel length 39 calibers
Machine guns 1 x 12.7-mm
Projectile weight ?
Maximum firing range 24 - 30 km
Maximum rate of fire 4 rpm
Elevation range - 3 to + 75 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 39 rounds
Machine guns 500 rounds
Engine Detroit Diesel 8V71T diesel
Engine power 440 hp
Maximum road speed 65 km/h
Range 350 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.5 m
Trench 1.8 m
Fording 1.1 m


   The M109A6 Paladin is a further upgrade of the M109 self-propelled howitzer, which was introduced in early 1960s. This M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer entered service with the US Army in 1991. Production ceased in 1999. A total of 950 artillery systems were built for the US Army. Export operators are Israel and Taiwan. With the cancellation of Crusader and NLOS-C programmes the US Army will continue to rely on the M109A6 Paladin artillery system, until it will be upgraded to the M109A7 standard.

   The M109A6 has a larger turret than its predecessor. It is armed with the M284 155-mm / L39 howitzer, fitted with a semi-automatic loading system. Maximum range of fire is 24 km with standard projectiles and 30 km with rocket-assisted projectiles. Maximum rate of fire is 4 rounds per minute. Sustained rate is one round every three minutes.

   Some of the US Army M109A6 Paladins are being fitted with modification kits to fire M982 Excalibur extended-range precision guided projectiles. The Excalibur has a maximum range of 40 km.

   The Paladin can stop and fire the first round in under 60 seconds. Brief redeployment time allows to avoid counter-battery fire and gives shoot-and-scoot capability.

   Secondary armament consists of a roof-mounted 12.7-mm machine gun. Some vehicles were fitted with 40-mm automatic grenade launcher in place of machine gun.

   The M109A6 is fitted with an automatic fire control system with an integrated navigation and inertial positioning system. It is also fitted with a muzzle reference system.

   Armor of the M109A6 Paladin provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle is fitted with NBC protection system. Turret is fitted with Kevlar anti-spall lining.

   Vehicle is powered by the Detroit Diesel 8V71T diesel engine, developing 440 hp. Some Paladins will be upgraded with a Cummins 600 hp diesel engine.

   The M109A6 Paladin is supported by the M992 ammunition supply vehicle. It can carry a maximum of 93 rounds and transfer them to the self-propelled howitzer via conveyer.




   M109A7 is the latest upgrade of the Paladin. Formerly this system was known as the M109A6 PIM (Paladin Integrated Management). The first prototype was unveiled in 2007. Upgraded artillery systems have a new automated loader and some components of the canceled Crusader and NLOS-C. The US Army plans to obtain a fleet of 580 M109A7 howitzers and the same number of associated armored ammunition support vehicles. Low-rate production deliveries are expected in 2015. A full-rate production is planned to begin in 2017.


Video of the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer

M109A6 Paladin SPH

M109A6 Paladin SPH

M109A6 Paladin SPH

M109A6 Paladin SPH

M109A6 Paladin SPH and M922

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