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M109: The King of Battle

The M109 is an American Cold War era SPH, developed during the early 1950s as a replacement for outdated postwar designs. The anticipated M109 will arrive to War Thunder as part of the upcoming “Kings of Battle” major update!

M109: A Self-Propelled howitzer for USA / Britain / Germany / Italy / Israel at Rank IV

Features:

  • Powerful 155 mm howitzer.
  • Good mobility.
  • High-caliber machine gun.
  • Light protection.
  • Low rate of fire.
Vehicle History

Development of the M109 began in the early 1950s under a U.S. program to develop a common chassis for a number of different SPH designs. Upon entering service, the M109 was immediately deployed to the Vietnam War. However, its operational service during the conflict was cut short due to serious mechanical malfunctions which rendered the fleet inoperable. Nonetheless, after being addressed and receiving its first upgrade to the A1 standard, the M109 would continue service with U.S. forces for decades to come, taking part in virtually all military conflicts where U.S. forces were deployed in. Once its design eventually matured, the M109 successfully resisted replacement on multiple occasions and continuously received upgrades until the present day.

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Meet the M109!

Coming to War Thunder as part of the major update, the M109 will reinforce the mid ranks of not just the American but also other nations’ ground forces trees as a truly powerful new addition! Representing the first advanced SPH design for some of the trees it will appear in, the M109 not only sports devastating firepower, but also offers you decent mobility, thus making it a highly versatile predator in your battles. Let’s dive into the details!

Developer’s comment: The M109 will arrive in several nation-specific variants. The German, Italian as well as Israeli ground trees will receive base models of the SPH equipped with the standard L23 caliber cannon, where the M109G represents the German and Italian variants which are additionally equipped with smoke launchers. The American and British ground trees however will gain access to a modernized variant — the M109A1 — whose most striking feature is without a doubt its longer L39 cannon.

Representing the upgraded version of the original howitzer, the M901A1’s cannon features a higher muzzle velocity, thus making target acquisition a much easier process. Unaffected by this is the cannon’s sheer destructive power. Firing heavy 43.1 kg shells, containing 6.86 kg of TNT results in the immediate obliteration of any lightly armored vehicle. For more heavily armored targets, you’ll need to aim more precisely — a task for which the aforementioned cannon’s excellent ballistic properties should come in handy for.

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In addition to the cannon, the M109 also comes fitted with a .50 cal machine gun (except for the German variant, which has a standard MG3 machine gun) on the commander’s hatch which can both serve as a rangefinding method but more importantly, will also help to protect you against enemy aircraft!

Interesting: The decisive role of artillery on the battlefield is recognized by military experts of different nations. In the territory of the former USSR, the expression “artillery is the god of war” is widely known; while in the American military, artillery is often called the “king of battle”.

Speaking of protection, the M109 is only lightly protected as is commonplace for vehicles of this type. Being encased in 31.7 mm thick sheets of aluminum alloy, the M109 is effectively shielded from machine gun fire and some automatic cannon fire at longer engagement distances, however dedicated anti-tank cannons will have no trouble bypassing it. However, if you’re daring enough, you can still use this SPH as an effective support vehicle by sticking close to allies and helping take out particularly tough targets.

Although it doesn’t look like it at first glance, the M109 is quite a mobile vehicle for its class. Powered by a 405 HP diesel engine, the M109 possesses a power-to-weight ratio of 17 hp/t and is able to reach a top speed of 56 km/h under ideal conditions. As a result, the M109 can quickly shift positions on the battlefield and is able to closely follow its allies as the frontline shifts during a battle, allowing it to shine.

In your matches: Pro-tips when using the M109 by Dmitry Gordeev, Game Designer: “Finally, large-caliber SPGs have entered the research branches of nations such as the USA, Britain, Germany, Italy and Israel, and their players will be able to gain a new and unusual experience. The 155mm HE shell has very destructive power, but at the same time requires an accurate hit in the vulnerable zone of an armored enemy. It’s best to aim at the roof of the turret; it’s especially good to do this on maps with developed terrain, when the enemy has not yet come at you to shoot, but has already received a destructive shell into the turret.

Similar SPGs in the game lack an anti-aircraft machine gun, but not the M109s, the good old .50 cal will certainly save you from aircraft, to which you are so vulnerable. At the same time, you can use a projectile with a radio fuse to hunt straight-flying aircraft, but take into account the extremely slow (for “SPAA”) turret rotation and gun elevation speed, use a body turn and try to attack the plane that comes to attack you when there is about 1-1.5 km between you.

The M109 will soon be arriving to rank IV of the American, British, German, Italian and Israeli ground forces trees with the release of the next major update, “Kings of Battle”! In the meantime, be sure to keep an eye out on the news for what is coming next. Until then, enjoy your matches and see you soon!

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