Plan would double artillery upgrades in Army arsenal over the next five years

The Army is about a third of the way toward its goal to acquire an upgraded fleet of nearly 700 tracked, mobile artillery cannons but will nearly double its inventory over the next five years if a recent budget request is approved.

More than six years ago, the Army began a program to improve the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled 155 mm artillery cannon, which was fielded in 1994.

Since the improvement program began then, they’ve been able to put more than 200 of the weapons into their arsenal and more than 200 more are on the way over the next five years, with an ultimate goal of having 689 Paladins in stock over the next decade, according to recently released Army budget request documents.

When the program started, initial goals were for 580 upgraded Paladins. Strategic concerns about Russian and Chinese fires modernization has pushed that number up by more than 100 in recent years.

Those improvements and procurement will keep the currently quarter-century-old mobile cannon blasting away until 2050.

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Author: Dian Welle