BAE Systems has secured a new contract from the US Army to begin the full-rate production of the M109A7 self-propelled howitzer and M992A3 ammunition carrier vehicles.
The contract includes an initial $413.7m award to carry out the third and final option for low-rate production on the programme.
It also comes with extended options, which could take the total value of the contract to approximately $1.7bn.
BAE Systems will be initially responsible for manufacturing 48 vehicle sets.
The contract also includes provisions for the development of 60 vehicle sets each year for three years.
Featuring a new chassis design, the M109A7 howitzer will help provide enhanced performance and survivability.
The howitzer uses the existing main armament and cab structure of the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer.
BAE Systems Combat Vehicles US business vice-president and general manager Adam Zarfoss said: “We have been working with the army to design, develop, build, and test this vehicle for several years.
“By working closely with our customer, we were able to design a vehicle that meets the needs of the current forces, and provides the system infrastructure and electrical power generation that leaves ample room to incorporate future capabilities.”
Work on the M109A7 howitzer programme is underway at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama, US, as well as at BAE Systems’ US facilities in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and New York.