Israeli M50 155mm self-propelled howitzer

The M109 self-propelled howitzer was developed by the Americans and has been variously developed since its inception in the 1960s and exported to various other countries.

If someone should find different data, or new findings, or more photos, I would be very happy to receive an email to this effect: [email protected]

thanks to Charles Janier and Claude Balmefrezol of www.maquetland.comwho wrote this text and the research into it.
Special thanks to Clemens Niesner and www.41afdva.netwho provided me with the majority of the M109 photos!


The M109
You can't talk about the M109 without looking at its closest relatives. The closest relationship is with its older sister, the M108, while the M107 and M110 can at best be viewed as cousins, as they emerged from a different conception. Of course the 4 vehicles are based on the same concept as self-propelled artillery cannons, but the M107 and M110 are cannons on an open chassis, a bit like the AMX10F3, while the M108 and M109 have the cannons in a closed turret, like the AMX30 AUF1. In addition, the calibers are different 170 to 203mm for the M107 and M110 105 to 155mm for the M108 and M109. Chronological consideration of the weapon systems:
The construction of the weapon systems began at the height of the Cold War and even more specifically during the Korean War, when it was decided to replace the M44 with a 152mm caliber with a new system family. The US Army has specified specifications for the construction of two artillery systems on the same frame: one with a large and one with a smaller caliber. The light should be between 110 and 156mm and was later set to 105 and 155mm, as the US Army still had large stocks of ammunition of this caliber. In addition, NATO had to standardize weapons and ammunition. The M107 and M110 should then accommodate heavier calibers.
The manufacturer Cadillac was chosen for production and this was later taken over by Chrysler.

M108 and M109:
The standardization of these two vehicles involved from the beginning to use the same chassis and turret, which were taken from the T195 prototype with the 110mm cannon. To reduce weight, the armor was reduced to a minimum. Although they are not amphibious, they do have a certain ability to swim. They can also be transported in a C130.
The future M108 (T196) production was to start in 1959. Immediately there were problems with the suspension and the diesel engine that needed to be resolved. This delayed mass production until 1962. After the start of production, the US Army found that the caliber was too small and withdrew all produced units from the front, where they were only just being used in Vietnam (June 17, 1966 in Pleiku the 3 / 6th Artillery as the M109 in Xuan Loc with the 23rd Artillery Group in the 2 / 35th Artillery. A second M108 battalion, the 1 / 40th Artillery, was stationed in Dong Ha in October 1966.).
The M108 was decommissioned when it was sold to NATO allies such as Belgium (18 units), Brazil (72), Spain (48), Taiwan (117), where they were converted into T68 turrets and Turkey (26).
Another difference in the hull was the lack of ground spurs on the stern.

The first M109 was completed shortly after the M108 in October 1963 with a 155mm caliber (cannon 11126 A1). The first deployment took place in Vietnam in the Armored Cavalry Squadrons, which had 6 vehicles per company. In September 1966 there were 3 companies in the 11th Armored Cavary Squadron. 5 battalions with M109 and 2 battalions with M108 were stationed in Vietnam, which is 57 M109 and 36 M108. They were used in prepared positions where they could optimally use their 360 ° swiveling tower and were protected against the RPG of the Viet Cong. The US Marine Corps has used these vehicles in their 4 / 11th and 5/12 marine units. The M108 was withdrawn from Vietnam in mid-1970 and the M109 in late 1971.
Today the M109 is in use all over the world (USA, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, Egypt, Korea, Israel, Taiwan, Iraq, Iran, etc.) and is still in production. More than 8000 vehicles were built, including 950 paladins.
The M109 received its baptism of fire in Vietnam, where its weaknesses were obvious: It should only be used in prepared terrain.
The first major military deployment took place in the Yom Kippur War, where the Israelis used it intensively after testing the M109 between 1967 and 1973. To compensate for the weak armor on the M109 while it was in motion, they were protected by Merkava tanks. Firepower was improved during this war, especially during Operation Galilee in 1982. In addition, new ammunition such as the RAP (Rocket Artillery Projectile) was introduced.

The M109 from 1962 was converted into the M109 A1 which was replaced by the M109 A2 in 1978 and the existing M109 A1 was converted into the M109 A3. The latest M109 model is the Paladin, which is used by the US forces in Iraq. In my opinion, the Paladin is the ultimate model of the M109.
The cannon is built into a rotating turret, which is placed at the rear end of the hull. The whole vehicle was made of aluminum dural. The driver sits in the front left in the tub and the engine is in the front right with a large rectangular fan. The Christie style chassis has 7 rollers per side with the drive wheels at the front and the tensioning and idler wheel at the rear.
The IR system of the first vehicles was improved with more powerful systems such as residual light amplifiers.
The tower is more or less rectangular with two hatches on the tower roof. The cannon has a caliber of 155mm and has been continuously improved. It now rises above the chassis by 1/3 and has a huge muzzle brake. A smoke extractor is located in the middle of the pipe. The tower also has two side doors. There is a battery on each front of the tower and a large optic on the tower.

Basic data of the M109:
Weight: 21-27 tons
Length: 6.61m
Width: 3.14m
Height: 3.05m
Engine: V8 Detroit with 456PS
Gearbox: Alison X.I411
4 forward and 2 reverse gears
Top speed: 56 km / h
155mm cannon
6 fog throw cups (3 on each side)

M108US Army, 285 piecesM103 105mm caliber, crew: 5, 425 hp
M109 AdatsUS ArmyFor firing ADATS missiles
M109US Army, 3786 piecesProduction from 1962 to 1969
M126 cannon, 28 shells
M109 A1US Army, 2741 piecesProduction from 1970
M126 A1 cannon with an extended barrel
M109 A2US Army, 1501 piecesProduction from 1978 to 1985
M185 cannon, 36 shells
M109 A3US ArmyRevision of the A2 variant from 1980
M109 A4US Army, 737 piecesInstallation of NBC protection equipment from 1984
M109 A5US Army, 135 piecesM284 cannon from 1993
M109 A6 paladinUS Army, 965 piecesFrom 1999: M284A1 cannon, 39 shells, improved protection level, better engine and chassis. Improvement of the periscope, fire control computer and navigation system
M109 A7US Army, 558 piecesFrom 2013: completely redesigned hull including chassis, new 600 HP motor, 75kW Common Modular Power System, 43 projectiles carried, electrically operated attachment device for the ammunition, M2 MG with side shield
M992 FAASVUS ArmyAmmunition tanks, 93 shells
M992 CPVUS ArmyCommand tank
M992 FDCVUS Army, 119 piecesFire control armor
M992 MAVUS ArmyRecovery and repair vehicle
M992 MEVUS ArmyAmbulance
M108Australian Army
M108Belgian army
M108Spanish army, 34 pieces
M108TTurkish Army, 26 pieces
M109BEBelgian army·
M109 A2BEBelgian Army, 127 pieces
M109 A4BEBelgian Army, 64 pieces
VBCLBelgian Army, 45 piecesConversion to a command vehicle
M109 CDNCanadian Army
M109 A2CDNCanadian Army
M109 A3CDNCanadian Army
M109 A4Canadian Army, 76 pieces
M109 PzHb66 / 74Swiss Army155mm L / 47 cannon
M109 PzHb88 / 95 KawestSwiss Army155mm L / 47 cannon, modified loading device, 40 grenades, NAPOS, night vision devices, fire suppression system
M109Dutch army
M109 A1NLDutch army, 138 pieces
M109 A2Dutch army
M109 A2 / 90Dutch army
M109 A3NLDutch army, 91 pieces
M109 A3GNorwegian Army, 126 pieces
M109 A3GNNorwegian Army, 14 pieces
M109 A3GNMNorwegian Army, 9 pieces
M109 GGerman Army, 609 piecesLaunched from 1966, short barrel, new breech, new muzzle brake, smoke device, Detroit diesel engine with 420 HP, 28 grenades
M109 A3GEA1German armyIntroduction from 1986, equipped with AURORA, 34 grenades, ballistic hood for panoramic periscope, IFAB
M109 A3GEA2German armyIntroduction from 19 ??, additional storage boxes, German lighting, earth spurs removed and new storage boxes instead, new tower storage boxes, SEA on vehicle front, semi-automatic loader
M109 A3UKAustrian Army
M109 A5OEAustrian Army, 54 pieces
M109 8Austrian ArmyComputing center armor
M109 DKDanish Army
M109 A3DKDanish Army
M109 UKBritish ArmyIntroduced in 1965, Clansman radios, British machine guns, British fire extinguishers, reel for telephone cables
M109 A1UKBritish Army1978 Installation of longer pipes
M109 A2UKBritish Army1979 new acquisition
M109 A3UKBritish Army
M109 LItalian Army, 280 pieces
M109 A2 LItalian army
M109Israeli army
M109 RochevIsraeli army, 60 pieces45 rounds, a 12.7mm MG, 25 tons
M109 DoherIsraeli Army, 369 pieces45 rounds, two 12.7mm machine guns, 28 tons
XT69Taiwanese Army, 225 piecesOpen tower
XT69A1Taiwanese Armylonger tube
M109 A5ESpanish armyRenovation in 1995
M109 A2Pakistani Army, 150 pieces
M109 A5Pakistani Army
M109 A6Chinese army, 225 pieces
K55South Korean Army, 1040 pieces
K55 A1South Korean Army, 1180 piecesDigital computer, GPS, APU
M109 A2Thai Army, 20 pieces
M109 A5Thai Army, 20 pieces
SP122Egyptian Army, 124 piecesD30 cannon
M109 A2Egyptian Army, 279 pieces
M109 A5Egyptian Army, 201 pieces
M109 KAWESTChilean Army, 24 piecesEx-Swiss M109
M109 A3United Arab Emirates Army, 85 pieces
M109 A1BSaudi Arabian Army, 28 pieces
M109 A2Portuguese Army, 6 pieces
M109 A5Portuguese Army, 18 pieces
M109 A1Peruvian Army, 12 pieces
M109 A1Moroccan Army, 44 pieces
M109 A2Moroccan Army, 84 pieces
M109 A5Moroccan Army, 60 pieces
M109 A0Libyan Army, 18 pieces
M109 A1BKuwaiti Army, 5 pieces
M109 A3Kuwaiti Army, 23 pieces
M109 A1Jordanian Army
M109 A2Jordanian Army
M109 A1Iranian Army, 390 pieces
M109 A1BGreek Army, 33 pieces
M109 A2Greek Army, 132 pieces
M109 A5Greek Army, 12 pieces
M109 A3Brazilian Army, 40 piecesEx-Belgian M109
M109 A1Tunisian army, 11 pieces
M109 A1Ethiopian Army, 17 pieces
M109 A0Omani Army, 15 pieces
M109 A5Philippine Army, 5 pieces

If you have photos of M109 that are not yet shown here, you are welcome to send them to me by email. I will then install them here accordingly.

Thanks for photos to: Clemens Niesner, Pedro Laborda, Werner Kampfhofer,,, Noel Luff, Peter Müller (, Kees van der Pols (, Andreas Koch , Elmar Glaubitz and Wikipedia