A new modernised howitzer vehicle for the US Army has been unveiled by BAE Systems at its York facility in Pennsylvania, US.
The upgraded Paladin integrated management (PIM) is the next-generation howitzer in the M-109 Paladin family of combat proven weapon systems.
BAE Systems heavy brigade combat team (HBCT) systems vice-president Joe McCarthy said the modernisation of the Paladin was a critical step in providing the US Army with a sustainable and supportable fleet of upgraded vehicles.
"The roll-out of our PIM system will ensure that the HBCT continues to have the premier fire support platform needed to support the warfighter," he said.
The next-generation howitzer uses the existing main armament and cab structure of a Paladin M109A6 and replaces the obsolete chassis components with the latest components from Bradley Combat Systems.
PIM features a state-of-the-art digital backbone and robust power-generation capability, and integrates electric elevation, traverse drives, an electric rammer and a digital fire control system.
The modernisation of the vehicle reduces its logistical footprint and operational sustainability costs and ensures maximum commonality with existing systems in the HBCT.
The BAE Systems PIM is the first to be equipped with the company's enhanced on-board power management capability and the first to implement the army's common modular power system (CMPS) requirement.
The on-board power management solution will double the electrical power of military vehicles, thereby increasing the mission effectiveness of ground forces while on the battlefield.
Work will be carried out at the company's facilities across the US as well as the Army Research and Development Center in Picatinny, New Jersey, while the remanufacture for the Paladin fleet will be carried out in collaboration with the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama.
The upgraded howitzer is one of the seven PIM vehicles BAE is producing under a $63.9m contract awarded in August 2009.