July 31 (UPI) -- BAE Systems has been awarded an $88 million contract for long lead material for the Army's new howitzer program, the Defense Department announced.
The contract, announced on Tuesday, calls for the company's Land & Armaments division, headquartered in York, Pa., to prepare to build the M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer and M992A3 Carrier Ammunition Tracked vehicles.
The two tank-type vehicles are based on the same chassis and will replace current models, known as the Paladin Integrated Management program.
The new equipment is a modernization effort, improving size, weight, power, cooling and combat survivability. Each vehicle carries a crew of four and has a 155 mm artillery gun, among other weapons, as well as the Blue Force Tracker to aid in situational awareness.
Work will be performed in York, Pa., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2023.
The Defense Department contracted BAE Systems to deliver 18 155 mm howitzer artillery guns to the U.S. Army in October 2018. The company also received a $45 million contract to improve the firing capabilities of the howitzers in July 2019.