Paladin line art

Paladin providing primary artillery support for armored and mechanized infantry divisions Two Paladin's Firing shells Paladin moving down a dirt road
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Provide the primary artillery support for armored and mechanized infantry divisions.

Entered Army Service

1963 (M109)

Description and Specifications

The M109A6 (Paladin) howitzer is the most technologically-advanced self-propelled cannon system in The U.S. Army. The "A6" designation identifies several changes to the standard model that provide improvements to weapon survivability, responsiveness, reliability, availability and maintainability, armament and terminal effects.

The fire-control system is fully automated, providing accurate position location, azimuth reference and on-board ballistic solutions of fire missions. The howitzer has a servo-driven, computer-controlled gun drive with manual backup. Paladin uses state-of-art components to achieve dramatic improvements in the following:

Survivability: "Shoot and scoot" tactics; improved ballistic and nuclear, biological and chemical protection.

Responsive fires: Capable of firing within 45 seconds from complete stop with on-board communications, remote travel lock and automated cannon slew capability.

Accurate fires: On-board POSNAV and technical fire control.

Extended range: 30 km with HE RAP and M203 propellant.

Increased reliability: Improved engine, track and diagnostics.

Upgrades include: global positioning system-aided self-location, M93 Muzzle Velocity System, and commercial off-the-shelf-based computer processor.

  • Max. Unassisted Range: 22,000 m
  • Max. Assisted Range: 30,000 m
  • Min. Range: 4,000 m
  • Max. Rate of Fire: 4 rounds/minute for three minutes
  • Max. Rate of Fire: 1 round/minute (dependent on thermal warning devices)
  • Weight (empty): 56,400 lbs
  • Weight (combat loaded): Approximately 63,615 lbs
  • Crew: 4 (accompanying M992 FAASV-5)


United Defense, L.P. (York, PA); TRW (Carson City, CA)