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M109 (Front view, right side)


Front view, right side

Picture courtesy of Henrik Clausen, Copenhagen


Danish Army Specific: The Danish artillery has 76 vehicles of this type (delivered 1963 - 1970). Each battery has 6 howitzers, and each artillery battalion has 3 howitzer batteries.
The engines were renovated by
Falck-Schmidt in Odense in the early 1970s. All brought up to M109A3 standard by the Danish Army Material Command from 1985 - 1989.
: In January 1952, a conference in Washington DC on the subject of self-propelled artillery indicated an urgent need for improved self-propelled artillery. Preliminary concept studies began for a self-propelled howitzer to replace the existing 155mm M44.
Development of the M109 (and M108 105 mm, with which it shares hull, chassis and turret) started in 1953. The first prototype of what was then known as the T196 was completed in 1959.
In February 1961, an order was placed for two T196E1 preproduction vehicles which were delivered within six months. After further trials the T196E1 was classified as a Limited Production Type in December 1961.
In October 1961, a letter order was given to the Cadillac Motor Car Division for one year's production of the T196E1 at the Cleveland Army Tank Plant. The first production vehicles were completed in October 1962. In January 1963, an extension was authorised to continue the classification of Limited Production.
In July 1963 the T196E1 was classified as standard A and designated the Howitzer, Medium, Self-Propelled: 155 mm, M109.
Early in 1963, a contract was awarded to Cadillac for the second year of production.
The contract for the third year of production, awarded in December 1963, went to the Chrysler Corporation, although production remained at the Cleveland Army Tank Plant. The first M109s were issued to the US Army in June 1963.
The 109A1 with longer barrel appeared in 1972. This modification increased effective range by almost 20 percent.
Total production more than 9.000 (all marks).
Length: 6.60 m (257 inches (gun forward)).
Width: 3.15 m (123 inches).
Height: 2.77 m (108 inches).
Weight: 23.800 kg (52.360 lb.).
: 38 mm (14 inches).
: 8-cylinder GMC 8V-71T Detroit Diesel, 9.287 cm3 (566 cubic inches), turbo charged, liquid cooled.
Horsepower: 425 at 2.350 rpm.
Transmission: 4-speed, Allison type XTG-411-2A.
Transfer case: None.
Electrical system: 24 volt, negative ground.
Brakes: Mechanical.
Fording depth:
without preparation: 1.83 m (71 inches).
with deep water fording kit: N/A.
Fuel type: Diesel.
Fuel capacity: 520 liter (114 gallons).
Range: 355 km (222 miles).
Crew: 6.
Armament: Armed with a 155 mm gun (T255E3) and 12.7 mm (cal. .50) machine-gun. 28 grenades are carried by each howitzer. The weapon can fire a variety of ammunition, including HE, tactical nuclear, illuminating, smoke and chemical rounds. Effective range is approx. 15 km.
Additional: The M109 is provided with infra-red driving lights. The M109 series howitzer is a vehicle that provides armoured combat support, is air transportable, internally loaded, and has excellent ground mobility. It allows firing in a 360 degree circle through its primary armament, the 155mm cannon assembly, and its secondary armament, the M2 heavy barrel caliber 50 machine gun. The system is capable of both direct (line of sight) and indirect (out of the line of sight) firing.
The M109 has a crew of six, consisting of commander, gunner, three ammunition members and the driver.
The M109 was the first model, with a very short barrel, double baffle muzzle brake, large fume extractor, and a maximum range of 14,600m. The M109A2/A3/A4 howitzers uses M185 cannon and achieves a range of 23,500 meters. The replacement of the 23 caliber long barrel with the M284 cannon 39-caliber barrel on the M109A5/A6 increased the range capability to 30,000 meters.
In the service with Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Korea (South), Kuwait, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and the Unites States.

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