The M109 Paladin integrated management (PIM), a next-generation 40t 155mm self-propelled howitzer artillery cannon, is being developed by the US Army as part of its modernisation programme for the 155mm self-propelled Howitzer fleet.

The new Paladin howitzer will be capable of firing precision munitions such as the Excalibur and the precision guidance kit, facilitate additional armour protection and power more on-board electrical packages.

The PIM, featuring a 600V on-board power system, is based on the structure used on the Bradley fighting vehicle turret and will provide fire-support for potential combat operations including conventional, hybrid, irregular and counterinsurgency situations.

The army has plans to build 580 new Paladin PIM sets to replace the existing fleet of M109A6 howitzers, which are nearing their end of operational life.

The howitzer is expected to enter low-rate initial production by 2013.