The US Army has awarded a $142m follow-on contract to BAE Systems for the continuation of low-rate initial production (LRIP) on the M109A7 self-propelled howitzer and M992A3 ammunition carrier.
The recently awarded contract is the first of the three option years awarded to BAE, under which the company will deliver 18 vehicle sets, comprising 18 M109A7 howitzers and 18 carrier ammunition tracked vehicles to the US Army.
Upon exercising all options, the US Army also plans to buy 66.5 vehicle sets, along with associated spares, kits and technical documentation.
BAE Systems artillery and recovery systems director Adam Zarfoss said: "The M109A7 is a significant leap forward in technology for the field artillery, addressing the current system shortfalls while providing significant margin for growth to help position the service for the long term."
The M109A7 models are currently under development at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama and BAE Systems' facility in York, Pennsylvania, US.
The company will continue the final production for M109A7 at its facility in Elgin, Oklahoma, US.
The first M109A7 vehicles are expected to be delivered by BAE Systems early next year.
In October 2013, the company received the one-year base contract for M109A7, which was formerly the Paladin integrated management programme.
Image: BAE Systems has received a follow-on contract from the US Army to continue low-rate initial production (LRIP) for vehicle sets. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.