Location: Soldier´s day, Brazilian Army, 2012
Comments: The M109 is an American 155mm self-propelled howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s. It was upgraded a number of times to today's M109A6 Paladin. The M109 family is the most common Western indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions. The M109 has a crew of six: the section chief, the driver, the gunner, the assistant gunner and two ammunition handlers. The gunner aims the cannon left or right (deflection), the assistant gunner aims the cannon up and down (quadrant). The M109A6 Paladin needs only a crew of four: the commander, driver, gunner and ammunition loader. The British Army replaced its M109s with the AS-90. Several European armed forces have or are currently replacing older M109s with the German PzH 2000. Upgrades to the M109 were introduced by the U.S. and by Switzerland (KAWEST). With the cancellation of the U.S. Crusader and Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, the Paladin will remain the principal self-propelled howitzer for the U.S. for the foreseeable future. The brazilian Army has around 40 ex-Belgian M109 A3. This version was made of former M109A1s and M109A1Bs rebuilt to M109A2 standard respectively. Some A3s feature three contact arm assemblies while all A2s have five. The M109 A2 incorporated 27 Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) mid-life improvements. Most notably, the long barreled 155 mm M185 cannon in the M178 gun mount, ballistic protection for the panoramic telescope, counterbalanced travel lock, and the ability to mount the M140 alignment device. Stowage increased from 28 rounds of 155 mm, to 36 rounds, .50cal ammunition amount remain 500 rounds.