Serge

[Artillerie canon] Les programmes américains

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Serge    1607

L'un des plus gros talons d'Achille américains est son artillerie canon. Voici le standard A7 du Paladin avec un point très important, l'intégration de composants du Bradley dans le châssis. Le canon reste à 39 calibres, ce qui est très faible.

New Paladin to Enter Low-Rate Production

Oct. 21, 2013 - 04:15PM | By AARON MEHTA

http://cmsimg.defensenews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=M5&Date=20131021&Category=SHOWSCOUT04&ArtNo=310210031&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&New-Paladin-Enter-Low-Rate-Production

The ground shakes as a US Army M109A6 Paladin howitzer fires a 155mm round at a range in Mosul, Iraq, in 2010. The Army has placed a low-rate initial production order for a new version of the armored artillery vehicle. (US Army)

WASHINGTON — The Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) system has been approved by the US Army for low-rate initial production, BAE Systems announced.

A contract is expected before the end of the year, with first production deliveries in early 2015. Assuming all goes well, a full-rate production decision will come in February 2017.

The LRIP order will cover 65 sets of the PIM, a self-propelled howitzer, and the supporting Paladin Integrated Management Carrier Ammunition, Tracked (PIM-CAT), as well as two PIM and one PIM-CAT vehicles that will be destroyed as part of tests. The Army expects to acquire 580 sets.

The PIM is the successor to the legacy M109A6 155mm howitzer, and continues to use the same gun as the older artillery piece. But from the bearing ring on down, the PIM is essentially a new weapon system, one that comes with digital displays and a 70 kilowatt, 600-volt on-board power system.

BAE also has built in commonality with the Army’s Bradley fighting vehicle, something the Britain-based company said will help cut down costs.

“This program is a very good example of a partnership that works between the public and private sectors,” Adam Zarfoss, BAE’s artillery program director, told reporters at the annual Association of the Untied States Army (AUSA) conference here. “This is all about a program that positions the Army for the longer term.”

Zarfoss touted the growth potential of the artillery system, which uses only a portion of the available power. BAE knows there will be technological additions, he said, and by building in an extra 45,000 watts of power, those additions will be easier to include. The chassis also is designed to handle extra weight.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131021/SHOWSCOUT04/310210031

Regardez attentivement le train de roulement :

IMG_4258cropped.jpg

Modifié par Serge

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Chronos    559

C'est normal qu'il n'y ait rien pour retenir la chenille dans sa partie supérieure ? D'habitude il y a des petits galets qui retiennent l'ensemble au-dessus pour lui éviter de pendouiller non ?

 

Les chenilles sont en caoutchouc aussi il me semble.

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Serge    1607

C'est une configuration Christie comme cela a toujours été pour le M-109.

Il faut voir en terme de mobilité ce que cela donne mais cela ne doit pas poser trop problème. Pour les chenilles, ce sont des classique là aussi.

LAND_M106A6-PIM_Rt_lg.jpg

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Drakene    709

Tient pourquoi justement l'artillerie canon US est si "faible", ce serait dû à la supériorité (aérienne) de l'USAF ?

Dans le style : "pourquoi avoir des canons alors que nous avons des avions".

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Serge    1607

Leurs programmes ont été mal menés depuis le Crusader sans parler du FCS, le bid par excellence. Ils ont connu deux programmes majeurs chacun se trouvant annulés. Voilà pourquoi ils se retrouvent en retard. Ils veulent trop faire de sauts technologiques et se retrouvent bloqués pour le plus grand bien des bureaux d'étude de leur industrie.

Pour être plus exacte :

Tout début des années 80, les américains avaient un nouveau programme d'automoteur. Il fut abandonné. Dans la foulée, ils ont lancé une modernisation du M-109. Le résultat fut la M-109 A6 Paladin.

Dans les années 90, le programme du XM-2000 Crusader est lancé pour être annulé en 2002. Il reposait sur de nombreuses technologies dont la propulsion par explosif liquide, la total automatisation de la mise en œuvre, le refroidissement du canon. Un point logistique intéressant était la mise au point d'un moteur commun avec l'Abrams.

Après cela, il y eu le délire du FCS où aucun véhicule ne devait faire plus de 19t. Le XM-1203 avait même pas 39calibres pour alléger l'ensemble. Une catastrophe sur toute la ligne. Et maintenant, ils se retrouvent sans rien même si BAE comme d'autres propose l'intégration d'un canon de 52 calibres sur le Paladin.

Pour l'évaluation du Paladin M-109 A6 PIM :

YUMA PROVING GROUND, Ariz. (Dec. 4, 2012) -- Throughout the month of October and into November, Soldiers were hard at work at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., running a potential vehicle upgrade, the M109 Paladin Integrated Management, through its paces.

Throughout the month of October and into November, artillery soldiers of Battery A, 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, were hard at work at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., running a potential vehicle upgrade, the M109 Paladin Integrated Management, through its paces.

The M109 Paladin self-propelled Howitzer, first produced in 1963 and improved upon numerous times over the past 40 years, is currently slated for a comprehensive overhaul. The M109 PIM upgrade shares many common components of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, allowing for more commonality with other Army vehicle systems and maximizing production savings, parts inventory and maintenance personnel while avoiding component obsolescence.

The PIM modernization effort is a significant upgrade of the M109A6 Paladin which includes buying back Space, Weight, and Power - Cooling. While the self-propelled howitzer's cannon will remain unchanged, the PIM will sport a brand new chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system, to go along with an upgraded electric ramming system.

Maj. Peter Sittenauer, executive officer for the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment said the Army specifically requested his "Iron Thunder" battalion of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

While the bulk of the 2nd BCT, 1st AD, was taking part in NIE 13.1, the Soldiers of Battery A, 4-27 FA, were hard at work on the Limited User Test, or LUT, for the PIM.

"We were requested partly because of our working relationship with the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, but also because of our high level of proficiency; we conduct qualifications twice a year," Sittenauer said. "The Army realized that we are already familiar with giving detailed feedback during the Army's NIE."

The Network Integration Evaluation, or NIE, is a semi-annual event that equips Soldiers with state-of-the-art networks and technologies and gives them an opportunity to provide valuable feedback about networks and equipment in an operational setting.

The purpose of the Paladin PIM LUT was to evaluate operational capability and reliability of the platform, proving the suitability, effectiveness and survivability of the platform with Soldiers manning the system for the first time. Additionally, the Army completed the PIM Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability, or RAM Growth Curve as required prior to the Milestone C Low Rate Initial Production, or LRIP decision scheduled to occur in June 2013.

"We shot 947 rounds per gun and did a lot of driving through all different types of terrain," said Staff Sgt. Gerardo Figueroa, a Battery A section chief.

"We do all types of fire missions that other units don't, like degraded and night fire," Figueroa said.

Staff Sgt. Mitchell Brittingham, also a section chief in Battery A, felt very good about the evaluation that took place at Yuma Proving Ground.

"Overall it was great," Brittingham said. "We were also required to drive at least 59 miles per day during the LUT."

The Soldiers of Battery A provided daily status reports and maintained operational readiness and situational awareness to their headquarters, located in the Fort Bliss, Texas, training areas. This type of long-distance communication also helped pave the way for future distributed testing during upcoming NIEs.

Whether it is pushing new equipment to its limits, providing detailed feedback that helps to shape the future Army or refining field artillery tactics, techniques and procedures, the Soldiers of 4-27 FA are widely considered the top in their field.

First Lt. Gaylon Ryan, fire direction center officer, Battery A, said the reason for the unit's proficiency is simple: "The Soldiers' ability to learn new tasks combined with the leaders' ability to lead is what makes this unit as good as it is."

http://www.army.mil/article/92328/ Modifié par Serge

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g4lly    6288

Tient pourquoi justement l'artillerie canon US est si "faible", ce serait dû à la supériorité (aérienne) de l'USAF ?

Dans le style : "pourquoi avoir des canons alors que nous avons des avions".

Probablement que ce qu'ils ont est suffisant. Même si le matos n'est pas state of art ils s'en foute un peu, à priori le risque de se faire démonter par la contre batterie est minime. Pour la portée faible du Paladin c'est compensé par le fait qu'il peut manœuvrer près du front. Pour taper en profondeur ils ont pléthore de solution rocket et missile tactique qui porte a 300km s'il faut, sur roue ou chenille.

On a usé du même argument pour ne pas passer en 52 calibre nos AUF1.

L'artillerie est une arme en perte de vitesse partout ou il y a un aviation puissante, qui soit disant devrait faire mieux en concentrant les crédits.

Ajoute à ça les interférences dans l'occupation de l'espace entre les obus et les avions et on comprend vite que l'avenir de artillerie n'est pas rose.

Je ne parle même pas de la missilisation a tout crin... Qui transforme n'importe quel fantassin en artilleur émérite.

C'est un peu le drame de l'artillerie, avoir été incapable de capitaliser son antériorité dans la mise en œuvre des drone, et avoir été incapable de concurrencer la montée en puissance de munitions guide de l'armée de l'air.

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g4lly    6288

Tient pourquoi justement l'artillerie canon US est si "faible", ce serait dû à la supériorité (aérienne) de l'USAF ?

Dans le style : "pourquoi avoir des canons alors que nous avons des avions".

Probablement que ce qu'ils ont est suffisant. Même si le matos n'est pas state of art ils s'en foute un peu, à priori le risque de se faire démonter par la contre batterie est minime. Pour la portée faible du Paladin c'est compensé par le fait qu'il peut manœuvrer près du front. Pour taper en profondeur ils ont pléthore de solution rocket et missile tactique qui porte a 300km s'il faut, sur roue ou chenille.

On a usé du même argument pour ne pas passer en 52 calibre nos AUF1.

L'artillerie est une arme en perte de vitesse partout ou il y a un aviation puissante, qui soit disant devrait faire mieux en concentrant les crédits.

Ajoute à ça les interférences dans l'occupation de l'espace entre les obus et les avions et on comprend vite que l'avenir de artillerie n'est pas rose.

Je ne parle même pas de la missilisation a tout crin... Qui transforme n'importe quel fantassin en artilleur émérite.

C'est un peu le drame de l'artillerie, avoir été incapable de capitaliser son antériorité dans la mise en œuvre des drone, et avoir été incapable de concurrencer la montée en puissance de munitions guide de l'armée de l'air.

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Serge    1607

On a usé du même argument pour ne pas passer en 52 calibre nos AUF1.

L'artillerie est une arme en perte de vitesse partout ou il y a un aviation puissante, qui soit disant devrait faire mieux en concentrant les crédits.

Ajoute à ça les interférences dans l'occupation de l'espace entre les obus et les avions et on comprend vite que l'avenir de artillerie n'est pas rose.

Je ne parle même pas de la missilisation a tout crin... Qui transforme n'importe quel fantassin en artilleur émérite.

C'est un peu le drame de l'artillerie, avoir été incapable de capitaliser son antériorité dans la mise en œuvre des drone, et avoir été incapable de concurrencer la montée en puissance de munitions guide de l'armée de l'air.

Sûrement pas.

L'artillerie a un très bel avenir de par son très faible coût. Même les américains ne peuvent se permettre d'engager trop d'avions en air-sol tellement cela coûte cher. Enfin, l'artillerie est l'arme de l'appui immédiat. Au contact, on ne peut se permettre d'attendre.

Pour ce qui est de l'espace aérien, ce n'est pas un problème car tout le monde sait faire de la deconfliction. À plus forte raison les américains.

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Serge    1607

Un petit point sur l'esprit du programme PIM.

Ce programme ne vise pas à rendre le M-109 plus efficace. Il cherche à fiabiliser le M-109 pour qu'il dure jusqu'en 2040. Partant, l'artillerie américaine a fait une étude et à décider de remplacer le châssis en ce concentrant sur un équilibre entre ce qu'elle voulait mais aussi sur ce qui était atteignable. C'est pour cela que le M-109 PIM reçoit un nouveau châssis avec les organes mécaniques du Bradley. Cela va faire diminuer les stocks de pièces détachées en opération d'où une baisse de coûts appréciable. Cette solution est jugée comme économiquement intéressante.

Pour la tourelle, elle reçoit la motorisation prévue pour le FCS-NLOS. Elle devient donc toute électrique alors que le Paladin était encore hydraulique (l'hydraulique est dans un compartiment séparé de l'équipage.).

Autre point, la production électrique. Elle est augmentée avec encore un potentiel de hausse. Le but est d'être capable d'intégrer de nouveaux équipements électriques pour les prochaines modernisations.

Modifié par Serge

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Serge    1607

BAE Systems Awarded Contract to Begin Production of Paladin Integrated Management

(Source: BAE systems; issued Oct. 31, 2013)

BAE Systems received a contract worth up to $688 million from the U.S. Army to begin Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) program.

The PIM is a significant upgrade of the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer, restoring space, weight, and power-cooling, while providing growth potential for emerging technologies.

“The award is a significant milestone for both BAE Systems and the U.S. Army,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Combat Vehicles at BAE Systems. “The PIM team, the program office, BAE Systems, and our suppliers have been working cooperatively throughout the engineering, manufacturing, and development phase of the program to ensure that the Army will field a highly capable howitzer on time and below budget.”

The initial contract was awarded for the base term, valued at approximately $195 million. During this period, BAE Systems will produce 18.5 vehicle sets — 19 PIM howitzers and 18 PIM Carrier Ammunition, Tracked vehicles. Through future options, the Army intends to purchase a total of 66.5 vehicle sets plus spares, kits and technical documentation for a total contract value of $688 million.

The PIM design includes a new chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system, and improved survivability, while the vehicle’s cannon remains the same as that of the Paladin. These upgrades leverage common mobility components of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, reducing life-cycle and obsolescence costs and enabling the PIM to maneuverer with the Armored Brigade Combat Team.

The PIM uses a 600 volt on-board power system, leveraging technologies developed during the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) program. The state-of the-art "digital backbone" and power generation capability integrates electric elevation and traverse drives, an electric rammer, and a digital fire control system. This technology provides significant growth potential for future payloads as well as accommodating existing battlefield network requirements.

PIM will be a significant leap forward for the Field Artillery in terms of tactical mobility and force protection,” said Adam Zarfoss, director of artillery programs at BAE Systems. “Additionally, by incorporating the latest technology for power generation and management, and leveraging gun driver and rammer designs from the NLOS-C program, PIM positions the Army for the longer term with a platform well suited for growth.”

Work on the contract is expected to begin immediately, with delivery of the first vehicle in mid-2015. Vehicle production will take place in York, Pennsylvania and Elgin, Oklahoma.

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Serge    1607

Allé, encore un petit article sur l'événement de la semaine dernière.

US Army Orders Dozens of New Mobile Howitzer Systems

Oct. 31, 2013 - 05:16PM | By PAUL McLEARY

http://cmsimg.defensenews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=M5&Date=20131031&Category=DEFREG02&ArtNo=310310011&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&US-Army-Orders-Dozens-New-Mobile-Howitzer-Systems

BAE Systems makes the Paladin self-propelled howitzer. (BAE Systems)

WASHINGTON — BAE Systems got some good news on Oct. 21 when the US Army announced it was awarding a low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract for upgrades to the Paladin PIM self-propelled howitzer program, which service leadership has praised for actually staying on budget and on schedule.

On Thursday, BAE added details to that announcement, explaining that the upgrades for the existing system features new chassis, engines, suspension and better survivability than legacy systems, and that the entire deal could be worth up to $688 million if the government exercises all options.

As with most other new Army programs, the service has demanded that BAE install a more capable on-board power system to accommodate emerging technologies while leaving enough space for future electronic requirements.

The Army plans to purchase 66 vehicle sets, plus spares in upcoming years.

The news comes just weeks after BAE announced it was shuttering two ground vehicle facilities in Texas and Pennsylvania, the biggest being the facility in Sealy, Texas, where 325 employees will be put out of work.

The facility at Sealy was focused on wheeled-vehicle production, and with orders having all but ended for mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles and the family of medium tactical vehicles and no new orders coming in, the company said it didn’t have enough work to keep the line open.

The first Paladin PIM vehicles will be delivered in mid-2015, with vehicle production taking place in York, Pa., and Elgin, Okla., the company said.

The Paladin is noteworthy not only for the upgrades that will keep it at the cutting edge for decades to come, but for the fact that Army leaders are so excited that their acquisition plans worked.

Speaking at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference in Washington on Oct. 23, Brig. Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer for ground combat systems, said “we’re really, really pleased to see a program like that make it into production,” since “I’m not sure when the last time was we had a major combat system enter into a Milestone C through the standard process.”

He called the program manager’s ability to simply stick to deadlines and budgets “a tremendous accomplishment.”

The AUSA show was hardly full of good news for Army acquisition programs. Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, said he would have to consider delaying or canceling the Ground Combat Vehicle program in upcoming budgets. Also, program managers said that unless there is a new infusion of cash, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program would run out of money next summer to continue testing the prototypes that industry delivered to the service in August.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131031/DEFREG02/310310011/US-Army-Orders-Dozens-New-Mobile-Howitzer-Systems?odyssey=nav%7Chead

À savoir que le PIM est le premier programme blindé qui arrive à l'étape "C" (mise en production) dans le cadre d'une conduite classique de programme depuis très longtemps pour l'US-Army.

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Serge    1607

Encore un petit point sur le PIM :

Paladin Hybridizes for Future Fleet

(Source: US Army; issued Nov. 18, 2013)

FORT SILL, Okla. --- The Fires Center of Excellence Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate here, is celebrating a major victory after the Paladin Integrated Management program received Milestone C approval within the Defense Acquisition System.

This Materiel Development Decision moves the project from the engineering design phase of the acquisitions process into the manufacturing and production phase.

"This is a big win for the Army and the Field Artillery," said Col. Michael Hartig, with U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Capability Manager Brigade Combat Team Fires, or TCM BCT Fires. "It's a big win for us for years to come."

The last time a weapon system was approved for production on this scale without an urgent needs statement from theater was probably the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

"In today's economic situation with the defense budget, you're not going to get a new start. This is about as close as you can get to a new platform without being a new start," said Hartig.

"It's a huge improvement on what we currently have. The PIM (Paladin Integrated Management) is the same gun, same M109A6 fires delivery capabilities, but the hull, the bottom of the vehicle is brand new."

The PIM has a higher profile than the current Paladin and was redesigned to accept components of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, such as the engine, transmission, and tracks. Hartig said 27 percent of its parts are used on the Bradley, which will save the Army money in production costs, parts inventory and in training maintenance personnel.

"The engine, the transmission, the road wheels, the torsion bars -- that's what costs units money. If you deploy and have a maintenance issue, you have the ability to cross level parts from other organizations within the [armored brigade combat team]," said Hartig.

The new cab has more space with an all-electric system to replace the hydraulic system of its predecessor. The PIM also uses the 600-volt system from the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, which will provide enough power for future technologies.

"The logic is whatever the [armored brigade combat team] comes up with: if the Bradley gets a new [command and control or C2] device, we can put a new C2 device on ours. We can finally keep up with what our maneuver brothers are doing," said Hartig.

The PIM has more armor to protect Soldiers inside as well as added technology that will alleviate the need to expose crew members operating crew served weapons from open hatches.

Doug Brown, deputy TCM BCT Fires, said the lack of protection for the crew chief was the number one complaint on the Paladin and the Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle in theater. To fix that problem the PIM can accommodate the common remote operating weapon system , known as CROWS.

"Instead of getting out of the turret to fire, you can do it inside the weapon using a screen. They are also making it possible for not only the crew chief to operate the CROWS, but that Soldier will be able to pass it to the gunner or the assistant section chief," said Hartig.

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Serge    1607

Army’s Bright Acquisition Spot: Howitzer Upgrades

By Brendan McGarry Thursday, March 27th, 2014 2:20 pm

The U.S. Army is moving forward with plans to develop upgraded versions of the M109 self-propelled howitzer in one of the service’s few bright acquisition spots.

The Army is “fully committed” to the M109 Paladin Integrated Management, or PIM, program, Army Secretary John McHugh said on Thursday during a hearing of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.

“We need a new self-propelled artillery howitzer to keep up with our formations and so we’re going forward,” he said in response to a question from Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., whose district includes Fort Sill, which houses the Army and Marine Corps’ field artillery schools.

McHugh acknowledged the service’s troubled acquisition history, including many failed attempts to replace its Cold War-era fleets of vehicles and helicopters. Most recently, it scrapped the Ground Combat Vehicle, designed to replace the Bradley fighting vehicle, due in part to automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

But the secretary said the M109 development program is moving forward, albeit slowly. BAE Systems Land & Armaments LP, part of the U.S. subsidiary of the London-based defense contractor, received a contract potentially worth almost $700 million for initial production of the vehicles.

“We really have no particular challenges at this point,” McHugh said of the acquisition effort.

The Army plans to spend almost $8 billion to buy 582 of the more advanced tracked vehicles, designed to support soldiers in heavy brigades with a cannon capable of firing 155mm precision-guided projectiles, according to Pentagon budget documents. The systems, which are being built in York, Pa., and Elgin, Okla., will include a new chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system, and armor, according to the contractor.

The secretary said the service expects to receive its first delivery of about 66 vehicles under low-rate initial production in mid-2015 and get approval to begin full-rate production in 2017.

“These are long timelines,” McHugh said. “They’re frustrating. But when you’re developing something important as this — and it really is a generational change — time’s kind of an unavoidable factor.”

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/03/27/armys-bright-acquisition-spot-howitzer-upgrades/

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Serge    1607

Les livraisons du M109 PIM débutent :

BAE Systems to deliver next week first production vehicle M109A7 Paladin to U.S. Army.

BAE_Systems_to_deliver_next_week_first_p

BAE Systems will make next week the first delivery of its production vehicle for the Army's upgraded M109A7 Paladin self-propelled howitzers program. Delivery will be in Elgin, Oklahoma. The vehicles are built at BAE's York, Pennsylvania, facility, and final assembly is in Elgin. BAE Systems M109A7 Paladin 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer

The M109A7 Paladin is the successor to the M109A6 155mm howitzer, and continues to use the same gun as the older artillery piece. But from the bearing ring on down, the M1097A7 uses a new weapon system, one that comes with digital displays and a 70 kilowatt, 600-volt on-board power system.

This enhanced artillery system will offer key fire-support for a variety of potential combat missions conducted by the US Army's Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs) in conventional, hybrid, irregular and counterinsurgency combat environments.

BAE Systems was awarded a one-year base contract for the M109A7, formerly the Paladin Integrated Management program, in October 2013. The current contract is the first of three option year awards to produce an additional 18 vehicle sets — 18 M109A7 howitzers and 18 carrier ammunition, tracked vehicles for approximately $142 million. Once all options are exercised, the Army intends to purchase a total of 66.5 vehicle sets plus spares, kits, and technical documentation. One set includes a M109A7 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer along with its battlefield companion, the M992A3 Carrier Ammunition, Tracked (CAT).

The M109A7 program is a significant upgrade over the vehicle’s predecessor, the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer, restoring space, weight, and power-cooling, while providing growth potential for emerging technologies. The design includes a Bradley-common chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system, and improved survivability, while leveraging technologies developed during the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon program such as a 600 volt on-board power system. The state-of-the-art “digital-backbone” and power generation capability provides significant growth potential for future payloads as well as accommodating existing battlefield network requirements.

Paladin PIM: The Little Cannon That Could & The Future Of The Armored Brigade

By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

on April 06, 2015 at 4:25 AM

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/_K9ijHZqPxg

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: After 20 years and two costly cancelled programs, the US Army finally has a new artillery vehicle. While the ceremonial rollout isn’t till Thursday, contractor BAE Systems has already delivered the first pair of self-propelled howitzers. Oft-overlooked and blandly named, this Paladin Integrated Management program is a modest but much-needed success for the beleaguered Army acquisition system.

“So far, it has moved along without drama or significant problems,” one Hill staffer told me. “It is not a truly new vehicle in that it borrows from others, but still a success.”

Small though it may seem from the Hill, PIM is a harbinger of three bigger things to come:

◾a revival of the field artillery, the “king of battle” against conventional threats but a neglected “dead branch walking” during counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq;

◾an overhaul of the armored brigade, which will lead to 72 percent of the brigade’s heavy vehicles having the same BAE-built automotive systems;

◾a new approach to acquisition, in which expensive, ambitious, all-new designs give way to incremental but still substantial changes to existing platforms.

At first glance, PIM looks like just the latest upgrade to the 1960s-vintage M109 howitzer, from the current M109A6 to PIM’s M109A7. In fact, PIM is more like surgically transplanting someone’s head onto a new body: It takes the old gun turret and installs it on an all-new chassis. What’s more, since earlier upgrade programs rebuilt the turret, the PIM has basically nothing in common with the original Vietnam-era M109 except the name.

“M109A6 built a new turret and put it on the old chassis,” said Mark Signorelli, head of combat vehicle programs at BAE Systems. “M109A7 put a new chassis under the A6 turret, with a few upgrades to the turret, and effectively in two steps the Army built a new howitzer.”

Signorelli is a veteran of the cancelled Future Combat Systems and Ground Combat Vehicle programs, which attempted to develop entirely new designs. “When you have one of these big bang programs…it’s hugely expensive, it takes forever, and it’s risky,” he told me at last week’s Association of the US Army conference in Huntsville. “When you do this Lincoln’s axe approach, you can…put the modernization in bite-size packages, so you’ve got a high probability that you can get the work done on schedule, on budget.”

The result is less radical than a bottom-up new design but definitely more than a mere upgrade. PIM doesn’t have the longer-ranged cannon developed for the cancelled Crusader or the automated ammo loader from FCS. It does, however, have new automotive and electrical systems. As a result, while the A7 weighs 25 percent more than the A6, it generates 50 percent more horsepower and almost four times as much electrical power.

The 650 horsepower engine makes PIM much more maneuverable than the current Paladin model, which is notorious for falling behind other armored vehicles. PIM’s 70 kilowatt generator not only accommodates the latest electronics, from communications networks to defensive jammers: It also allows the replacement of the turret’s leaky, maintenance-intensive hydraulics with modern electric motors. (This “electric drive” technology was actually salvaged from the cancelled FCS program). With a new engine, new transmission, and a hydraulics-free turret, the Paladin PIM should also be much more reliable than the decades-old equipment it replaces.

The Paladin PIM will actually be more modern than the mainstay of the armored brigade, the heavily armed M2 Bradley troop carrier. The new Paladin PIM chassis is “derived from the Bradley chassis, [but] actually somewhat more advanced in many ways in terms of electrical power and other things,” said Brig. Gen. David Bassett, the Army’s program executive officer for ground combat systems, in an interview at AUSA. “It’s the leading vehicle in terms of technology for where we’d like to take the Bradley family of systems.”

So Bassett is also overseeing an overhaul of the Bradley. Bradley Engineering Change Proposal 1, already in production, raises the suspension to give seven inches more ground clearance, which improves both cross-country performance and defense against mines exploding from underneath. The far more extensive ECP-2 will replace the Bradley’s entire engine and transmission with the ones pioneered by Paladin, a 12 percent increase in horsepower. ECP-2 will also more than double the Bradley’s electrical power, from nine kilowatts — which is not enough to run anti-IED jammers without turning other electronics off — to 24.

That’s not the 70 kilowatts of Paladin PIM, but it’s plenty, Bassett told me: “We used to power whole TOCs [command posts] with that much power,” he said. “We could’ve taken the PIM power solution and put it on Bradley, but again we’re making hard cost trades” to stay under tight budgets.

“The 70 kw that we see on Paladin [PIM] is probably a practical limit” for the Bradley chassis, Bassett said, “[but] I would struggle to find claimants for 70 kw of power,” anyway.

The last and biggest piece of the modernization effort will be the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle. AMPV is a lightly armed but well-armored support vehicle to replace the vulnerable Vietnam-vintage M113. It will use the same automotive systems as the Paladin PIM and Bradley ECP-2. It will also have a new hull, based on the Bradley’s but redesigned for maximum protection against roadside bombs.

AMPV is the Army’s largest modernization program left after the most recent round of cuts, and given budget constraints, the Army can only modernize about 1.3 brigades a year. But once a brigade gets all three upgrades — Paladin PIM, Bradley ECP-2, and AMPV — 72 percent of its armored vehicles will be using the same modernized propulsion system, improving mobility and easing maintenance. Only the M1 Abrams tanks — with their infamously fast and fuel-hungry turbine engines — and a small number of specialist vehicles will require unique spare parts and maintainer training. The added electric power will also ease future upgrades with new networks, sensors, and jammers. It’s a far cry from the comprehensive family of hybrid-electric vehicles envisioned by FCS, but it’s also something the Army can actually achieve.

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Serge    1607

Je bote en touche n'ayant pas été artilleur.

Il me semble simplement que le canon n'a pas beaucoup de calibres. Donc, pour améliorer sa porté, les américains doivent avoir recours à des munitions à réduction de traînée ou à propulsion additionnelle. Le résultat est une explosion des coûts.

Si j'ai bien compris, le standard PIM a une civière et un refouloir pour faciliter la séquence de chargement. Il est issue du défunt FCS-NLOS.

Ce qui m'intéresse en fait le plus c'est que le PIM reçoit un châssis dont la motorisation est le standard ECP-2 à venir sur les Bradley et les AMPV. Le chiffre de 72% de véhicules ayant le même moteur au sein de la brigade est très intéressant.

Mais tant qu'il n'y aura pas de dépanneur sur châssis Abrams, je resterais inconsolable.

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Sovngard    1323

Il me semble simplement que le canon n'a pas beaucoup de calibres. Donc, pour améliorer sa porté, les américains doivent avoir recours à des munitions à réduction de traînée ou à propulsion additionnelle. Le résultat est une explosion des coûts.

 

Il s'agit d'un L/39 comme sur l'AuF1.

 

Depuis son entrée en service en 1963, ils ont changé 3 fois de canon.

Il y a bien une raison valable pour laquelle ils ne veulent pas taper plus loin que la barre des 30 km.

 

 

 

Si j'ai bien compris, le standard PIM a une civière et un refouloir pour faciliter la séquence de chargement. Il est issue du défunt FCS-NLOS.

 

La séquence de chargement n'était-elle pas entièrement automatisée sur le NLOS ou alors cela ne s'appliquait qu'au regretté XM2001 Crusader ?

 

Ce qui m'intéresse en fait le plus c'est que le PIM reçoit un châssis dont la motorisation est le standard ECP-2 à venir sur les Bradley et les AMPV. Le chiffre de 72% de véhicules ayant le même moteur au sein de la brigade est très intéressant.

 

Pour la petite info, le PTAC du M109A7 (précédemment appelé M109A6 PIM) est portée à 50 tonnes, ce qui lui laisse une marge de croissance de 15 tonnes.

 

Mais tant qu'il n'y aura pas de dépanneur sur châssis Abrams, je resterais inconsolable.

 

Je crois que c'était encore une question de coûts, ça revenait moins cher de sélectionner le M88A2 Hercules.

 

1428441267-abrams-recovery-vehicle.png

Modifié par Sovngard

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