|Manufacturer:||KUKA Wehrtechnik GmbH|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
Between 1994 and 1995 KUKA developed the Ammunition Handling Kit (AHK) for installation in the widely deployed 155 mm M109 series of self-propelled artillery system.
Two prototypes of the AHK were installed for trial purposes in two 155 mm M109A3G self-propelled howitzers of the German Army as part of the German artillery's M109 life extension programme in November 1995. Details of the German 155 mm M109A3G are given in the following section.
The first production order for 262 kits was placed with KUKA late in 1998 and these will be delivered to the German Army between July 1999 and June 2000. There is also an option on another batch of 262 kits which can be exercised in the future.
The KUKA AHK has been designed as a retrofit system and can be installed in all existing 155 mm M109 self-propelled artillery systems. It consists of the following main components:
(1) Drawer-type magazine for 24 fuzed projectiles in the turret bustle
(2) Holders for 10 fuzed projectiles on both sides of the rear hull entrance
(3) Electrically driven projectile hoist in the turret
(4) Projectile chute
(5) Electrically operated rammer
(6) Magazine for propellant charges in the turret
(7) Magazines for propellant charges in the hull
(8) Stowage boxes at the turret front and at the hull rear
Several additional components are available including an automatic primer magazine, an improved hydraulic system, an improved firing mechanism or an additional auxiliary power unit to complete the AHK.
The AHK offers improved stowage for 34 projectiles and propellant charges as well as almost weightless projectile handling by the use of the electrically driven hoist support and automatic ramming of projectiles.
Due to the reduction in personnel's physical effort, the AHK increases the performance of the M109 during sustained fire missions.
Additional crew deployed outside the turret during firing operations are no longer required and ammunition replenishment is accelerated with the AHK integrated into the M109.
Upgrading of an M109 to the M109 AHK standard requires only minor modifications to the hull, turret and electrical system.
Production. In service with German Army which has ordered 262 kits with an option on another batch for the same amount.