Home Americas US Army Europe receives upgraded Paladin howitzers, CAT vehicles

US Army Europe receives upgraded Paladin howitzers, CAT vehicles

M109A7 Paladin in Europe
M109A7 Paladins and M992A3 CAT vehicles being unloaded in Mannheim, Germany. Photo: US Army

About three dozen next-generation M109A7 Paladin self-propelled howitzers and M992A3 Carrier, Ammunition, Tracked (CAT) vehicles arrived at Coleman Barracks in Germany earlier this month.

The M109A7 Paladins, which bring extended range and overall performance improvements over the M109A6, were delivered to the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Army Field Support Battalion-Mannheim.

These new armored vehicles, now a part of the 405th AFSB’s Army Prepositioned Stock-2 Program at Coleman worksite, will enhance US Army Europe and Africa’s readiness and capability to support the warfighter while simultaneously promoting stability and security in the region, the service said in a statement.

The M109A7 SPH and M992A3 CAT increase their predecessors’ sustainability through 2050 and will be fitted with Blue Force Tracker capability to ensure situational awareness with other friendly forces. The program has leveraged Bradley commonality for key components – engine, transmission, final drive and suspension – in a new hull. The new electric-gun drives and rammer components, as well as a microclimate air conditioning system, will be powered by the common modular power system utilizing a 600-volt onboard electrical system in the existing cab and cannon assembly.

Enhanced Paladins are being delivered by BAE Systems under an initial contract from 2017 for low-rate production. They will offer key fire-support for a variety of combat missions conducted by the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams in conventional, hybrid, irregular and counterinsurgency combat environments.

AFSBn-Mannheim houses and maintains an ABCT’s worth of vehicles and equipment – over 500 pieces, such as M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley fighting vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, staff tracked vehicles, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles.

“Our regular business is the maintenance and storage and accountability, thereof. We maintain this ABCT – forward – ready to issue to an active duty unit in the event of a requirement here in theater. We are also able to issue forward, as we demonstrated during DEFENDER-Europe 20,” said Thomas Esposito, the director of Coleman worksite, AFSBn-Mannheim.