Military Review

American 155-mm self-propelled howitzer M109

The M109 is an American self-propelled artillery mount, a class of self-propelled howitzers that has become the most common in the world. M109 was created in 1953 — 1960. to replace the unsuccessful SAU M44, in parallel with the M108 caliber 105 mm. Serially produced in the United States. In the period from 1962 to 2003 years repeatedly upgrading. In 1990-s produced under license in South Korea. Total for the time was released 9205 self-propelled guns of all modifications. Pretty quickly, it became the standard self-propelled artillery installation of US troops, displacing not only older models, but also M108. The first combat use of M109 during the Vietnam War and subsequently applied in almost all military conflicts involving the United States. In addition to the United States, has become a standard self-propelled NATO countries.

In the middle of the 1950, self-propelled artillery systems in the field artillery of the United States took a firm place. However, the US participation in numerous military conflicts unleashed throughout the world and the emergence of a nuclear weapons socialist countries served as the reason for putting forward new requirements for self-propelled guns. To quickly transport self-propelled guns to anywhere in the world by air, they had to have a small mass and dimensions. To protect the crew of the self-propelled guns from the damaging factors of nuclear weapons, the reservation of vehicles had to be complete. In addition, they were equipped with filtering units. In the list of requirements, not least was occupied by good cross through the use of specials. chassis, overcoming swimming water obstacles and increasing the sector of horizontal fire by using a rotating tower. At this time, the US Army was armed with a 105-mm self-propelled guns M52 and 155-mm self-propelled guns M44, created on the basis of tank M41. Self-propelled artillery mounts did not meet the new requirements and had some drawbacks, the main of which were: limited angle of fire, heavy weight and insignificant range.

To eliminate the flaws inherent in the M44 and M52, in 1952, they began to create a self-propelled howitzer Т195 of the 110 caliber mm. It was decided to use the gun turret and hull T195 as the basis of self-propelled gun equipped with 156-mm howitzer. A new howitzer project was presented in August 1954, however, it did not receive customer approval. In the 1956 year, for unification within NATO, it was decided to adhere to the caliber 155 millimeters, and in 1959, the first prototype was completed, which was assigned the designation T196. ACS T196 for military tests sent to Fort Knox.

According to the results of these tests, it was decided that to increase the operating range, all American armored vehicles will be equipped with diesel engines. In addition, a number of changes were made to the design of the hull, tower and chassis. Taking into account the new equipment, the model was assigned the designation T196-1. In 1961, it was put into service as the howitzer М109 SP. The first production vehicles were produced at the end of the 1962 of the year at the Cleveland Army Tank Plant under the leadership of the Cadillac Motor Car Division, later Chrysler. A total of Chrysler plant built around 2500 guns. In the 1970s, production of the M109 family was transferred to Bowen McLaughlin-York (today United Defense).

The body and turret of the ACS M109 are made of aluminum rolled armor, which provides protection against fragments of field artillery shells, small arms fire and the light radiation of a nuclear explosion. The stern and sides of the hull were installed vertically, and the upper front sheet at a significant angle. The roof of the case is horizontal. At the stern of the self-propelled gun, a closed circular rotational tower was installed, having an almost semicircular frontal sheet. Rectangular hatches opening backwards are made in the sides of the tower.

In the self-propelled howitzer, M109 adopted a layout with a front-mounted engine-transmission group. In the aft part of the hull there was a circular rotation tower with a 155-mm howitzer. The driver's seat is located in front of the self-propelled gun on the left, the engine compartment - on the right. The tower is located behind. M109 self-propelled howitzer suspension rod. There are 7 rollers on each side, a guide drum in the rear and a transport drum in the front. Rolls for reverse are absent. The standard equipment includes infrared driving lights, as well as amphibious equipment, enabling self-propelled guns to move independently through slow-flowing rivers. There was a double hatch in the stern, which was used to load ammunition. The crew entered / exited through hatches in the stern of the tower and side walls, as well as through hatches in the roof of the tower.

Detroit diesel diesel engine 8V-T71.

The M109 self-propelled howitzer crew consists of six people: a driver, a gun commander, a gunner and his assistant, as well as two calculation numbers.

The 155 mm M126 howitzer with a barrel length 23 caliber serves as the main tool. The gun is installed on the machine M127, equipped with a muzzle brake and an ejector. The angle of vertical guidance is -3 ... + 75 degrees, horizontal - 360 degrees. The howitzer is equipped with hydro-pneumatic recoil devices. The main drive guidance - hydraulic, auxiliary - manual. The gun has a large exhaust device, muzzle brake and threaded Welm bolt. Submission of propelling charges and priming tubes is carried out manually. The latter are invested in the gate after a projectile with a propellant charge has already been placed in the charging chamber. The maximum rate of fire is 6 shots per minute. Auxiliary weapons - 12,7-mm machine gun M2HB mounted above the commander's hatch in the tower on the right. Ammunition machine gun - 500 cartridges.

these munitions are used for self-propelled howitzer M109: M712 «Copperhead" (guided missile), M107 and M795 (high-explosive shells), M718 / M741, M692, M483A1 and M449A1 (cluster bombs), M549 (high-explosive rocket-assisted projectile ), M485 and M818 (lighting projectiles), M825 (smoke projectile), M804 (practical projectile). Ammunition - 28 shots.

The M109 ACS is equipped with three МNNUMX periscopes, М45 periscope, МХNUMXС optical sight with ХХNUMX magnification, М27 panoramic optical sight with МХNUMX magnification and МХNUMXА118 and МХNUMX artillery quadrants. Also for night driving there are night vision devices. Some machines are equipped with a system of protection against weapons of mass destruction.

The M109 self-propelled howitzer can overcome water obstacles by swimming: on water, the self-propelled gun is held using a special set of boats, which consists of 3 wave deflectors and 6 inflatable rubberized containers. Movement on the water is carried out by rewinding the tracks. The M109 ACS is capable of firing from the water, but only to produce a “sound effect” since horizontal guidance fails and turning on the move leads to a loss of accuracy.

One of the reasons for the durability of the M109 self-propelled howitzer is that the base chassis of the machine is amenable to modernization and can easily “accept” long-barreled artillery with a greater range of fire.

The M109 ACS family includes the following modifications:
M109A1 - Adopted in 1973 year. The main difference from the base model is the increased length of the barrel, reinforced suspension and advanced targeting drives. You can use M864 cluster shells with bottom gas generator.

M109A2 - adopted in the 1979 year. Changed design recoil devices and rammer. Ammunition increased by 22 shot.

M109A3 is an upgraded version of the M109A1. Cannon machine replaced. It has an improved mechanic-driver dashboard, an air removal system from the fuel system, a system for monitoring the condition of the ammunition, rollback brake, knurl and torsion shafts. The maximum range of firing by an active-missile projectile is increased to 24 km, high-explosive fragmentation - to 18 km.
The modification M109A4 is equipped with a system of protection against weapons of mass destruction. In the power plant made some changes, horizontal guidance mechanisms improved.

M109A5 - equipped with an M284 gun with a barrel length 39 calibers on the machine M182. The maximum firing range is 30 km. Upon request, it is possible to install an automated fire control system and a GPS system.
M109A6 “Paladin” (Paladin) - modification developed in the framework of the HIP program. Adopted in 1992 year. Installed a new tower with improved armor protection and the inner lining of Kevlar. The M284 cannon is mounted on the M182A1. Replaced radio station.

The M109A6 ACS is equipped with a fire control system, a navigation system and an onboard ballistic computer that provide automatic guidance of the weapon. There is a receiver of the space radio navigation system NAVSTAR.

In 1983, in Germany, a modernized version of the M109A3G was developed. Production started in 1985. It has a new gun with a barrel from the FH70 “Rheinmetall” howitzer. It features more advanced anti-recoil devices, a wedge gate and a reinforced warhead introduced into the ammunition (which made it possible to increase the firing range to 18 km, and the rate of fire - to 6 shots). By changing the placement of ammunition, the number of shots increased to 34 pcs. Also, new, West German observation devices, sights, tracks, communications equipment, smoke grenade launchers and MG.3 anti-aircraft machine gun 7,62 mm were installed on the machine.
Modernization M109A3GN was developed in 1988 year and was made for the army of Norway in 1988 — 1990. Installed new trunks company "Rhinemetall", which allowed to increase the range of fire.

M109L is a modernized version of a self-propelled howitzer made in Italy.

M109A6 PIM is an upgraded version of the M109A6 "Paladin". The main goal of the upgrade was the extension of the life span of the ACS by 30-40.

M109A6 and increase their combat performance. The upgraded self-propelled howitzer has a digital fire control system and an improved semi-automatic loading system. In addition, the hydraulic control system of the instrument was replaced by electric drives. The base chassis replaced the improved transmission and suspension elements of the Bradley BMN M2. The Detroit Diesel 440-strong diesel engine has been replaced by the MXNMX Bradley BMP engine (2-strong Cummins V600). The US military plans to upgrade to a PIM 903 M580A109 modification from 6.

The US Army M109 self-propelled howitzer is supplied in the amount of 54 pcs. per mechanized or tank division (3 division for 18 ACS, in division - 3 batteries for 6 machines). Except for the rest of the world. M109A189B, M109A2, M109A3GEA109, M5A2007), Denmark (24 M109A37DK), Egypt (109 M3A499, M109A3, M197A109), Israel (1 M109A2), Jordan (109 M3A1, M109A5), Iran (76 M109), Spain (3 M367A109, Mxv MXA2GN), UAE (109 M2A109), Pakistan (3 M350A109), Peru (1 M253A109), Portugal (1 M109A2, M180A109), Saudi Arabia (112 M109A2B, M109A5), Thailand (260 M109A109), Republic of China (1040 M109A2, M23A109), Switzerland (14 M109U).

The M109 self-propelled howitzer was used in many conflicts in the Middle East (used by Israel and Iran) and the Far East (by the United States in Kampuchea and Vietnam).

Performance characteristics:
Combat weight - 23,8 tons;
Body length - 6114 mm;
Length with a gun forward - 6614 mm;
Case width - 3150 mm;
Height - mm 3279;
Clearance - 450 mm;
Crew - 4-6 man (depending on version);
Type of armor - aluminum rolled
The forehead of the body (top) - 32 mm / 75 °;
The forehead of the body (middle) - 32 mm / 19 °;
The forehead of the body (bottom) - 32 mm / 60 °;
Board and hull feed - 32 mm / 0 °;
Bottom - 32 mm;
The roof of the case - mm 32;
The forehead and side of the tower - 32 mm / 22 °;
Tower feed - 32 mm / 0 °;
The roof of the tower - 32 mm;
Type of gun - howitzer;
Make and caliber of the gun - M126, 155 mm;
Barrel length - 23,4 calibers;
Ammunition gun - 28 shots;
Vertical guidance angles - from −3 to + 75 degrees;
Firing range - 19,3 km (with an active-projectile);
Sights - M42 (periscopic), M118C (telescopic), M117 (panoramic periscopic);
Machine gun - M2HB caliber 12,7 mm;
Engine - diesel, V-shaped, 8-cylinder, liquid cooled;
Engine power - 405 l. with.;
Highway speed - 56 km / h;
Cruising on the highway - 350 km;
Specific power - 15,5 l. s./t;
Ground pressure is 0,78 kg / cm²;
Overcoming rise - 30 grad .;
Breakable wall - 0,55 m;
Overcoming ditch - 1,85 m;
Passable ford - 1,05 m, with optional equipment floats.

Based on materials:
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  1. MilaPhone
    MilaPhone 2 September 2013 09: 14
    Half a century use and do not steam.
    1. Nayhas
      Nayhas 2 September 2013 09: 31
      Well, as if soared, there was the XM2001 Crusader project which was closed due to the high cost of development and insufficient characteristics, the car came out as much as $ 21 million, with performance worse than the German PzH 2000 in terms of rate of fire, while the PzH 2000 cost $ 10 million ...
    2. Lopatov
      Lopatov 2 September 2013 11: 39
      They relied on being towed. The wars on the other side of the ball call for such decisions. They only have SPGs in "heavy" brigades.
      1. Akim
        Akim 2 September 2013 12: 19
        Quote: Spade
        They only have SPGs in "heavy" brigades.

        And they are Turks in all brigades. (Well, or planned). In addition to the mountain brigade (Hakkari Mountain and Commando Brigade). Or am I wrong?
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 2 September 2013 12: 46
          Quote: Akim
          And they are Turks in all the brigades.

          Exactly. That is why the Turks are "soaring" creating a new self-propelled gun. Have you heard about the T-155 "Firtina"?
          1. Akim
            Akim 2 September 2013 13: 19
            Quote: Spade
            Have you heard about the T-155 "Firtina"?

            Yes, this is also called our engineering machine (T-155). Only they designed it as an addition to those M109 that are, and not to the rearmament program. In the same way as the Altai tank and BMP and armored personnel carriers.
            1. Lopatov
              Lopatov 2 September 2013 13: 26
              And what does "in addition" mean? Did the Turks decide to make their life extremely difficult? Exactly what a replacement.
      2. Pimply
        Pimply 2 September 2013 12: 34
        In the pictures, by the way, 109 Tsakhal. Tsahal completely switched to self-propelled guns
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 2 September 2013 12: 47
          And yours, too, "steamed", but the money for a new car, like the Americans, did not have enough.
          1. Pimply
            Pimply 3 September 2013 01: 05
            Steam, I do not argue. "Scholef." In the series did not go. It turned out to be easier to upgrade 109-ku.
      3. Andrey77
        Andrey77 6 September 2013 19: 11
        List "their" "heavy" brigades. You can by numbers.
  2. krot00f
    krot00f 2 September 2013 13: 37
    As I understand it, An analogue of our MSTA, Well, with a threaded bolt, of course they gave a blunder just like on our howitzer guns in 1938.)
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 2 September 2013 13: 46
      An analogue of our 2C3. Piston lock.
      1. E.S.A.
        E.S.A. 25 January 2019 15: 12
        The 2S3 has a vertical wedge gate. And it is strange that the "Acacia" supposedly has a rate of fire of the order of 3-4 v / m (every 18-20 seconds), not more often.
  3. kind
    kind 2 September 2013 15: 48
    In the lower middle photo, the gun has rust at the end of the breech. In the Soviet army, the gun commander would at least receive an educational pendal for this.
    1. Pimply
      Pimply 3 September 2013 01: 12
      High humidity. Rye appears as if it weren't protecting a piece of iron.
      1. Tourist Breakfast
        Tourist Breakfast 3 September 2013 12: 25
        High humidity. Rye appears as if it weren't protecting a piece of iron.

        It is also indicated there that this is not Tsakhalevskaya 109. Maybe a photo from some museum.
  4. Eksgayster
    Eksgayster 2 September 2013 17: 25
    On "Akatsia" the shutter is wedge-shaped, semi-automatic, but here, look, it is piston-type. In theory, for guns with such locks as on our ACS, with the exception of "Pion", the rate of fire should be higher, at least theoretically. Or is the data given for the basic version with a short barrel?
    1. Andrey77
      Andrey77 6 September 2013 19: 27
      Guru Lopatov was shy. Can invite him to Peter? We go to the Bar, then to the art museum.
  5. hiukoko
    hiukoko 4 September 2013 14: 20
    Quote: Milafon
    Half a century use and do not steam.

    Have you heard about AK? It would seem - the age of nanotechnology, but no, still in the ranks. :)
    1. Andrey77
      Andrey77 6 September 2013 19: 22
      With AK to you individually.
  6. komsomolets
    komsomolets 7 September 2013 01: 37
    I understand that without special craft she doesn’t walk on water?