Defense contractor BAE Systems today in York County unveiled the first
of seven prototypes for the new Paladin Integrated Management vehicle,
an upgraded version of the Army's existing mobile artillery vehicles.
Defense contractor BAE Systems today in York County unveiled the first of seven prototypes for the new Paladin Integrated Management vehicle, an upgraded version of the Army's existing mobile artillery vehicles.
BAE's facility in West Manchester Township will build some of the body of the tank-like mobile howitzers from existing Bradley Fighting Vehicle components, said John Tanzi, BAE's program manager for fire-support platforms.
The body of the Paladins will be new, but the turrets will be gleaned from the existing 900 vehicles in the Army's arsenal, he said. The turrets will be stripped of their internal systems at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama and outfitted with new technology, controls and other systems, he said.
The Paladin turrets and bodies will be reassembled at BAE's new facility being built in Elgin, Okla., Tanzi said. The Paladins will be tested at nearby Fort Sill.
The company did not know when work on the rest of the Paladin fleet would begin, spokeswoman Kelly Golden said. The start of full production depends on the Army's schedule, she said. The prototypes have to be tested first.
In August, the Army gave $64 million to BAE to build the first five Paladins and two support vehicles. That work is being done by the existing work force in York County, Golden said. BAE could add jobs once work on the rest of the fleet begins, she said.
About 1,800 people work at London-based BAE's York County facility.