BAE Systems (LSE:BA) will continue working on the US Army Paladin Integrated Management programme (PIM), after being awarded a USD $313 million contract modification last week.
It was announced on 18th January 2012, that BAE will provide engineering design, logistics development and test evaluation to assist the completion of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase of PIM.
The Research and Development contract for to produce five Self Propelled Howitzers and two Carrier, Ammunition Tracked vehicles – worth USD $63.9 million – was awarded to BAE Systems in August 2009. In May of 2011, seven prototypes were delivered to the US Army.
The PIM programme will ensure the sustainability of the Self-Propelled Howitzer fleet as well as supporting the US Army’s testing and production planning efforts.
The PIM howitzer uses armament and cab structure of a Paladin M109A6, and replaces vehicle chassis components with modern parts from the Bradley family of vehicles, within an improved and more survivable chassis structure.
PIM also incorporates a “digital backbone” as well as the capability to generate power. Also inherent in the system are electric elevation and traverse drives, electric rammer and a digital fire control system.
It is hoped the upgrade of PIM will ensure commonality with existing systems in the Heavy Brigade Combat Team and reduce the “logistical footprint” and “operational sustainability” by replacing obsolete components.
The contract was awarded by US Army TACOM and is expected to begin in February 2012 with anticipated completion in January 2015.