“The PIM program will ensure that the self-propelled howitzer fleet is sustainable in the long term and provides significant growth potential for our customer,” said Joe McCarthy, vice president and general manger of Combat Vehicles at BAE Systems. “Since we built and delivered the seven PIM prototype vehicles last year, we have completed all contractor tests, as well as Phase One of the Army’s Developmental Test. The additional funding that we are receiving through this contract will allow us to support the remainder of the Army’s rigorous test program and complete the production planning efforts in support of the low-rate initial production decision.”
BAE Systems was awarded a $63.9 million research and development contract in August 2009 to produce five Self Propelled Howitzers and two Carrier, Ammunition, Tracked vehicles. The seven prototypes were delivered to the U.S. Army, on schedule, in May 2011.
Work under this contract will be performed at various BAE Systems facilities, including: York Pennsylvania; Johnson City, New York; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Santa Clara, California and Sterling Heights, Michigan. The contract was awarded by U.S. Army TACOM and is expected to begin in February 2012 with anticipated completion in January 2015.
The Paladin Integrated Management howitzer uses the existing main armament and cab structure of a Paladin M109A6 and replaces unique vehicle chassis components with modern components common to the Bradley family of vehicles incorporated in an improved and more survivable chassis structure. PIM incorporates a state-of the-art "digital backbone" and power generation capability and integrates electric elevation and traverse drives, electric rammer and digital fire control system. The upgrade of the PIM ensures commonality with existing systems in the Heavy Brigade Combat Team, and reduces its logistical footprint and 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, significantly increasing the mission effectiveness of ground forces in theatre.