What’s in a Name? Endicott Becomes First PIM Howitzer Named for Program Site
Old Army hands know that there’s a time-honored tradition of artillery Soldiers naming their guns. In keeping with that ritual, the seven vehicles produced by BAE Systems for the Army’s Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) self-propelled howitzer (SPH) program recently received names of their own.
The seven names — Picatinny, Warren, Endicott, Minneapolis, York, Aberdeen, and Yuma — represent the seven major facilities (both BAE Systems sites and government facilities) across the U.S. where the PIM vehicles were designed and built.
“It’s a great tribute to our workforce when our customer makes this request as a way to show respect for the outstanding effort that’s been put forth to make this program such a success,” said Adam Zarfoss, the company’s director of Artillery Programs. “It also reflects the fact that this program leverages the broad spectrum of capabilities that BAE Systems can bring to bear to develop value-added solutions for the warfighter.”
Each of the five PIM SPHs will bear its new name on its bore evacuator and rear bustle rack. The two PIM CAT (carrier, ammunition, tracked) ammunition resupply vehicles will also have their names prominently displayed.
- SPH 1 will be named Picatinny, in honor of Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, home to the Army’s Armament Research Development and Engineer Center (ARDEC). Picatinny Arsenal is the joint center of excellence for armaments and munitions and provides products and services to all branches of the U.S. military.
- SPH 2 will be named Warren, after the city of Warren, Mich., the suburban Detroit home of the Army’s Tank and Automotive Armaments Command (TACOM), and BAE Systems’ site in next-door Sterling Heights, Mich.
- SPH 3 will be named Endicott, in honor of the company’s Electronic Systems site in Endicott, N.Y. where the on-board power management for the PIM is developed.
- SPH 4 will be named Minneapolis, in honor of the company’s site in that area, which performs all PIM-related cab electric drives and rammer work for the program.
- SPH 5 will be named York, after the company’s site in York, Pa. where the primary manufacturing of the PIM vehicles takes place.
- The two CAT vehicles will be named Aberdeen and Yuma, after the two primary testing sites for the PIM vehicles — Aberdeen, Md., and Yuma, Ariz.
BAE Systems began developing the PIM in 2007 which is currently in product testing. The PIM howitzer, the latest in the BAE Systems M109 family of vehicles, is a semi-automated, electronically controlled, 39-caliber, 155 mm artillery firing platform designed to meet the needs of the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs). It uses the existing main armament and cab structure of a Paladin M109A6, and replaces the vehicle’s chassis components with modem components common to the Bradley vehicle. The improved chassis structure provides greater survivability.
The vehicle also incorporates a state-of-the-art “digital backbone” and power generation capability, and integrates electric elevation and traverse drives. The upgrades ensure commonality with the existing systems in the ABCT, reducing operational sustainability costs by replacing obsolete components.
PIM is equipped with the company's enhanced on-board power management capability, representing the first implementation of the U.S. Army's On Board Power Management requirement. BAE Systems’ enhanced on-board power management solution will double the electrical power of most military vehicles, producing 70KW and significantly increasing the mission effectiveness of ground forces in theatre.
BAE Systems earlier this year was awarded a $313 million contract modification for the PIM program, calling for additional engineering designs, logistics development and test evaluation support to complete the Engineering Manufacturing Development phase of the program. Combined with the baseline contract awarded in 2009, the total anticipated value of the PIM RDTE contract now exceeds $500 million.
Under the PIM effort, the Army plans to acquire 580 sets of vehicles. Each set will include one self-propelled howitzer and one companion ammunition resupply vehicle, representing a total opportunity of 1,162 vehicles.
Visit the PIM product page for more information.