ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Engineering and manufacturing development for the U.S. Army's newest self-propelled howitzer is being continued by BAE Systems.
The company said a contract modification received for the Paladin Integrated Management program carries a value of $313 million and that required work will be conducted in New York, California, Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
"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 manager 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."
The Paladin is a self-propelled 155mm weapon with an effective firing range of about 11 miles. It is mounted on an armored, tracked platform and is the newest howitzer in the M109 family of vehicles.
Five prototype Paladins – plus two tracked carrier vehicles for ammunition -- were delivered to the Army by BAE systems last May under a 2009, $63.9 million contract.
BAE said chassis components tracked vehicle are common to Bradley Fighting Vehicles, unlike earlier models in the M109 series.