U.S. Army Paladins

BAE Systems is giving the U.S. Army‘s Paladin 155mm mobile howitzer system quite a facelift.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. David Bassett told DefenseNews.com that the “decades-old” Paladin 155mm mobile howitzer system “is going to be the leader” in the Armor Brigade Combat Team platforms, citing factors such as full electronic gear and firing drive upgrades.

Beginning in August, the old Paladin chassis will begin to be shipped to the Anniston Army Depot, Ala., where they’ll be stripped of usable parts for the new system. The same engine, transmission, drives and tracks used on the most recently upgraded M2/M3 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles will be incorporated onto the new vehicle.

The new Paladin also brings back the electric gun drive system from the Non-Line of Sight cannon canceled in 2009 as part of the scrapped $20 billion Future Combat Systems program. NLOS replaces the old hydraulic firing system.

The new Paladin weighs approximately 10,000 more pounds than the previous system, weight that increases crew protection. However, the added weight doesn’t have a negative effect on maneuverability or speed — in fact, both will also increase in the new system, according to DefenseNews.com.

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