Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR MAY 2015 Contents 49
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 09 | MAY 2015
The upgrade to the A7 configuration
addresses space, weight and power-cool-
ing (SWaP-C) deficiencies in the M109A6,
with the new vehicles receiving a 600-volt
on-board power system. This, the Army
says, will ensure the M109A7 has enough
SWaP-C growth potential out to 2050.
The M109A6 Paladin SPHs and M992A2
tracked ammunition carriers were
shipped to Anniston Army Depot during
the US summer of 2014, where they were
disassembled to provide cab structures,
overhauled gun and cannon assemblies
and other vehicle components.
The entirely new chassis, built at BAE
Systems’ facility in York, Pennsylvania,
was married with the reworked Anniston
components at the new BAE Systems pro-
duction facility in Elgin for final assembly.
“This [M109A7 program] is really an
example of acquisition done right, and to-
day’s ceremony is a major step in keeping
our promise to provide our field artillery
soldiers with the best self-propelled how-
itzer available,” s aid Brigadier General
David G. Bassett, the Army’s program ex-
ecutive officer for ground combat systems.
The improvements will also deliver sig-
nificant commonality, a reduced logistics
footprint and life cycle cost savings to
a large portion of the Armored Brigade
Combat Team, and ensure battlefield
relevancy, GEN Bassett said, “ by provid-
ing crucial offensive and defensive fires
in support of combined arms maneuver,
wide area security and other full-spec-
– Ian Bostock
See also ‘Follow-on order for M109A7 Paladin’ in
the December-January 2015 issue of DTR.
Boeing developing upgrade
kit for Harpoon
Upgraded radios for Canadian Army
BOEING IS DEVELOPING an upgrade kit
to extend the range of the Harpoon Block II
missile, the company announced to media
on 14 April at the Sea-Air-Land-Space Ex-
position 2015 in Washington, D.C.
According to Boeing’s director of cruise
missile systems weapons programs, Jim
Brooks, the upgrade will seek to double the
range of Harpoon from 67nm (124km) to
Known as Harpoon Next Generation,
the new version of the missile would feature
a more fuel-efficient engine, additional fuel
and a smaller 136kg (300lb) class warhead,
down from the 227kg (500lb) blast warhead
of the Block II version.
Current Harpoon users would be able
to upgrade their existing stocks of Block II
missiles with the kit, whilst new customers
would purchase Harpoon Next Generation
as a completely new missile. Boeing has to
date delivered some 7,500 Harpoon Block
II missiles to customers worldwide.
Boeing hopes to have the upgrade kit
ready for fielding in 2018, with a demon-
stration of Harpoon Next Generation to
the US Navy planned for 2016.
– Matthew Mendenhall
The Harpoon Block II is the target of an upgrade kit designed to effectively double the
missile’s range. Graphic: Boeing
LEFT: The first of more than 11,000
upgraded combat net radios for the
Canadian Army will commence deliveries
in May 2015. Image: Canadian DND
GENERAL DYNAMICS CANADA has
received a CDN$122 million, three-year
contract to provide software and hard-
ware upgrades to more than 11,000 com-
bat net radios for the Canadian Army.
Originally procured in 1991, the radios
will be refurbished to enable simultane-
ous operation of voice, messaging and
positional awareness reporting, functions
not currently possible with the existing
radio set. The scope of work consists of
replacing the cryptographic and data
transmission modules in the radio.
The upgrades will increase the
throughput and speed of data transmis-
sion, bringing levels on par with later
generation military radios. The work
is expected to extend the service life of
the Army’s combat net radio for another
Modifications to some 6,800 vehicle
interface units – consisting of a 50 Watt
amplifier to boost radio signal strength –
are also part of the contract and will be
performed by SED Systems of Saskatch-
First deliveries of upgraded combat net
radios is expected in May 2015 and will
continue through 2017.
THE US ARMY has taken delivery of the
first low-rate initial production (LRIP)
M109A7 155mm self-propelled howitzers
(SPH) from BAE Systems.
The initial LRIP deliveries comprised
four M109A7 SPHs and two M992A3
tracked ammunition carriers. These will
be followed by a further 18 vehicle sets –
18 M109A7s and 18 M992A3s – under a
US$142 million (AUD$184 million) fol-
low-on order awarded to BAE Systems in
If all contract options are exercised, a to-
tal of 66.5 vehicle sets plus spares, kits and
technical documentation will be ordered.
The M109A7 will replace the Army’s
M109A6 Paladin SPH.
Whilst a continuation of the M109
SPH linage, the M109A7 is a significantly
re-engineered design, with a new chassis,
engine, transmission, suspension and
steering system common to the M2/M3
Bradley fighting vehicle family, which also
provides enhanced sur vivability, mobil-
ity and supportability. The upgrade also
includes the electronic gun drive system
developed for the aborted Non-Line-of-
Sight Cannon program.
ABOVE: The US Army received its first
M109A7 155mm SPHs on 9 April.
Image: BAE Systems
First M109A7 155mm
THIS IS REALLY
AN EXAMPLE OF
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