The modern Paladin line of armored infantry was originally introduced in the 1960’s, and has served as a pivotal part of the United States Armed Forces ever since. Weighing it at around 29 tons, this behemoth can cruise even the most rugged terrain at a frightening 25-30MPH, pushed along by 600HP diesel engine.
The latest evolution of self-propelled howitzers, the M109A7 Paladin, sports a 155mm main cannon capable of firing 4 rounds per minute at distances in excess of 20km!
Soldiers have reported, on several occasions, being able to hit targets that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. This is due at least in part to the rounds themselves, which are often more than simple bullets. Many of the armaments used have self-contained stabilization and guidance systems to help keep them on track, but this level of accuracy requires more than fancy bullets.
The turret movements have a surprisingly large impact on the trajectory of the cannon’s rounds, and the Paladin uses this to its advantage. A sophisticated network of sensors and computers monitor the position of the tank and turret in relation to the target, and adjust the movements for optimum placement around 30 times per second! Information from the sensors is used to calculate appropriate counter movements, which need to be made quickly and accurately.
While several servo controllers have the technical capabilities to handle the movements, few can withstand the environments inside a Paladin tank. ESI’s Dragon Line of servo controllers function at temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius, are fully submersible, and are packed in a military grade, ruggedized housing to match the combat vehicle itself.
Giving tanks the ability to hit targets on the move is more than a convenience factor. On the battlefield, stopping and sitting still to aim can pose a major liability and put soldiers lives at risk. The combination of range and accuracy adds a level of protection and makes the Paladin a force to be reckoned with.Places like Iraq pose a number of challenges for military equipment unlike almost any other place on earth. As temperatures easily exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside the tank, the turbine and mechanical portions are punished on a daily basis. The durability of every part of thePaladin is put to the test, and in this case, every part is mission critical. Failure of any system can result in deadly consequences.
Many military vehicles rely on ESI Motion’s extreme duty servo drive controllers because they have proven, time and again, their reliability under any conditions.