Department of the Army's Program to Modify 155-mm.M109 Self-Propelled Howitzers to an M109A5 Configuration
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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The Army plans to modify 1,500 of its 155-mm. M109 howitzers to an M109A5 configuration at a cost of 1.5 billion. In April 1984, the Army plans to decide whether the program should proceed into full-scale development. If the decision is to proceed, several issues need to be addressed early in the next phase, the most important of which concerns the howitzers companion supply vehicle. When reloading its ammunition, the M109 howitzer operates alongside an unarmored ammunition supply vehicle which is unprotected against many types of munitions, and its low survivability could impair the howitzers effectiveness and endanger its crew. The Army is procuring a new armored ammunition supply vehicle but only in sufficient numbers to field with howitzers deployed in Europe. GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense determine whether it is cost effective to modify the remaining 800 to 1,000 M109 howitzers that would continue to operate with the vulnerable vehicle. If not, the Army should consider modifying fewer howitzers and applying the saving to the procurement of additional armored ammunition supply vehicles.
- Combat Vehicles