ST 6-50-60 Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for





This appendix presents guidelines and actions to ensure Paladin firing capability should the LCU at the POC fail to function or communicate or should various elements of the Paladin system fail during combat operations.



a. Procedures for degraded POC operations:

The POC is the "brain" of the Paladin platoon. If the LCU becomes inoperative, the POC can no longer control the fires of the platoon. If the digital communications system fails, the AFCS cannot receive and compute fire missions, and firing data must be externally supplied. Table A-1 outlines procedures to be followed if POC operations become degraded.

Table A-1. Degraded Platoon Operations.


Lightweight Computer Degraded POC:


- Notify adjacent platoon to assume control of howitzers.

- Inform the battalion CP of the situation.

- Inform BC of nature of equipment failure, and request necessary external support.

- Repair or replace faulty equipment.


- Notify howitzers to select backup BCS on the NET address screen.

Adjacent POC:

- Display SYS:SBT. Enter Y in the T-field of the degraded platoon Paladins.

- Notify guns to go backup BCS

- Request HOW:UPDATE from each Paladin.

- Execute upon receipt.

- Request HOW:AMOUP from each Paladin.

- Execute upon receipt.

- Request AFU:MASK from each Paladin.

- Execute upon receipt.

- Request BCS:MVV from each Paladin.

- Execute upon receipt.

- Request targets stored at the AFCS of each Paladin1

- Transmit AFU:AMMO to battalion.

- Transmit AFU:BAMOUP to battalion.

- Direct howitzer to backup platoons voice/digital frequencies.

- Conduct verification mission.







Digital Degraded POC:


- Keep Paladins in current position or move them into a platoon formation.

- Establish an internal wire system, if feasible.

- Use LCU to compute technical fire commands.

- Send fire commands to Paladins by voice over FM radio or wire1.

Consideration must be given to FPFs and Copperhead. Only one FPF and one Copperhead or two Copperhead targets may be stored in a LCU. Missions with the highest priority should be stored on the Paladins. All others should be recorded and deleted.

b. AFCS Command Input:

The AFCS can receive only fire missions digitally. The CS can only input fire commands manually at the AFCS. When digital communications with the Paladin are lost for any reason, collocate degraded howitzer with operational howitzers and use the data computed by the operational howitzer within 30-50 meters of degraded howitzer. The degraded section manually inputs the data into the AFCS and allows the system to operate normally.

c. Backup Fire Direction Capability:

The primary backup technical fire direction capability for the Paladin platoon is the LCU of the other POC in the battery. Should both battery LCUs become inoperative, the BC can direct one of two actions: ((1) First option is that the platoons may be attached to other batteries of the battalion. (2) Second option:)

(1) The POCs must have the equipment to manually compute firing data. The POC retains the plotting board, plotting set, and fire direction set necessary for manual operations. If, in the judgement of the BC, the POC personnel have the necessary expertise, the POC can manually compute firing data and transmit them to the Paladins, however the howitzers must set up as a platoon.

(2) Use the backup computer system (BUCS). In a Paladin TOE, BUCS is not authorized but can still be used if the unit has the RC/MAS chip. The use of BUCS should be the last resort for computational purposes.



d. Alternate Firing Mode:

If the AFCS or NAV system of a Paladin Howitzer becomes non-operational, the easiest way to keep it firing is to reciprocally lay it from an operational Paladin. If both systems are down, the non-operational howitzer will use the firing data from the operational howitzer which is located 30-50 meters from the degraded howitzer. The last resort is for the POC to compute data. If only the NAV system failed, and the AFCS is still operational, then once it is laid, the degraded howitzer can operate normally.



The Paladin is a "system of systems," which all must be working for the M109A6 to achieve its full combat potential. Loss of one, or several subsystems does not completely negate the overall capability of the Paladin. Most subsystem failures can be overcome by working around the faulty subsystem with alternate procedures.



Electrical power

- Notify POC.

- Use limited electrical power available from M992 auxiliary power unit (APU). 5

- Manually ram projectile.

- Manually lay using gunners hand wheels.

NOTE: The APU provides enough power for AFCS operations only. APU output is not sufficient for operating the hydraulic system.

If M992 is not


- Use reciprocal lay, aiming circle, or compass laying techniques. Refer to Para. A-4 Reciprocal Laying Procedures.

- Use spades.

- Manually elevate and traverse.

- Receive firing data from adjacent howitzer.

- Operate travel lock manually.

- Use DAP or collimator.

- Hand ram.



- Notify POC.1

- Collocate within 30-50 meters of operational gun and use operational gun's data.

- Use voice net3 for fire direction.

- Manually input data into AFCS.

- Determine fire data in the POC.

- Report rounds complete.








Navigation System


- Notify POC.1

- If in position, use DAP (preferred) or collimator and continue mission using manual/optical fire control, and move operational howitzer within 30-50 meters and use its firing data.

- If moving, manually navigate to destination. Use another howitzer to provide location and reciprocal lay or use hasty survey and other laying techniques, move operational howitzer within 30-50 meters and use its firing data.


- POC provides firing data (this method is slower than the above methods).

- Use spades if needed.


- ZUPTS will be required more often (every 4 minutes). Howitzer is still fully operational.

Hydraulic power

- Notify POC


- Load, traverse, and elevate manually according to the procedures in the current -10 series TM.

Gun drive servos

- Notify POC.

- Lay with chief of section or gunners control handle.

- Lay manually by using the gunner's elevating, and traversing hand wheel.



- Notify POC.1

- Have operational howitzer co-locate within 30-50 meters and fire operational gun's data.

- Use DAP or collimator.


- Lay manually using gunners/section chiefs hydraulic control handle or hand wheels.

- Use spades.

- If moving, navigate manually to destination. Use another howitzer to provide location and for reciprocal lay.



- Notify POC.

- Use wire to an adjacent howitzer.

- Remove radio from FAASV and place in howitzer.



- Notify POC.

- Remove CVC helmets and replace with Kevlar helmet. If firing M119 or M203 charges, the CVC helmet must still be worn with earplugs to ensure over pressure does not damage hearing.

- Do not move howitzer until communications is restored between the TC and Driver.


and/or final


- Notify POC


- Tow to subsequent position by using the FAASV. Use APU to power the AFCS.


- Notify POC.

- Use limited electrical power available from FASSV APU.2

- Continue firing until engine is repaired or replaced.

- Tow to subsequent position.





1Platoon headquarters may tell Paladin CS to collocate.

2M992 only.

3If lack of communications is due to masking, reposition howitzer.

4This assumes digital communications is also out. Authorized troubleshooting procedures should begin immediately.

5No hydraulic power.


















The procedures for reciprocal laying of the Paladin are somewhat different than those for reciprocal laying of the M109A2/A3 described in FM 6-50. The turret configuration of the M109A6 prevents the gunner from sighting the howitzer being laid over the top of the howitzer. Also, location can be transferred in addition to direction. The procedures are discussed below.





















Figure A-1. Reciprocal Laying Procedures

(Determining Degraded Howitzer Location).

1) The driver positions the degraded howitzer as desired. An M2 compass is used to approximate the azimuth of fire. The selected position must allow a second howitzer to pull up along the left (driver) side of the howitzer.

2) The driver pulls the operational howitzer alongside the degraded howitzer nose to nose, with the left front sprockets parallel and not more than 1 meter apart as shown in Figure 8-1.

3) The CS on the operational howitzer reads its location from the AFCS and reports that location to the CS on the degraded howitzer. The CS of the degraded Paladin records the location and reports it to the POC as his firing point.

4) The driver then moves the operational howitzer to its firing point. This point must be clearly visible, to the left of and within a 45-degree cone forward or rearward of the degraded howitzer as shown in Figure A-2. This limitation is due to the limited traverse of the panoramic telescope (pantel) ballistic shield of the Paladin.

























Figure A-2. Reciprocal Laying Procedures

(Positioning the Operational Howitzer).

5) Once the operational howitzer is in position and laid on the desired azimuth of fire, the gunners on both howitzers check the boresight of their pantel with the M140 boresighting device.

6) Using the AFCS, the CS traverses the turret 3200 mils, placing the operational howitzer on the back azimuth of fire. This gives the two gunner's sights clear fields of view off the left sides of the respective howitzers (Figure A-3).

Figure A-3. Reciprocal Laying Procedures

(Laying the Degraded Howitzer).

7) The gunner of the operational howitzer sights on the pantel of the degraded howitzer. Reading the upper scale, he reports NUMBER (so-and-so), DEFLECTION (so much). The CS reports the referred deflection to the degraded howitzer by radio (using the battery/platoon command voice net) or by voice relay.

NOTE: The operational howitzer is already on the back azimuth of lay. The gunner is not required to add or subtract 3200 mils from the referred deflection as in conventional reciprocal lay procedures.

8) The gunner of the degraded howitzer sets the reported deflection on the upper scale of the pantel, traverses the tube until he sights the pantel of the operational howitzer, and reports READY FOR RECHECK.

9) The gunner of the operational howitzer again sights on the pantel of the degraded howitzer and reports the referred deflection. The procedure is repeated until the degraded howitzer reports ZERO MILS. The azimuth of fire for the degraded howitzer is then reported to the POC.

10) Then, as with any howitzer laid by conventional means, the gunner of the degraded howitzer must establish aiming points, record their deflections (from the upper scale), sight on one of them and punch out 3200 on the lower scale.

11) If the degraded howitzer uses the operational howitzers firing data, the operational howitzer must remain within 30-50 meters of the degraded one.

12) Independent verification of reciprocal lay must be conducted. Preferred method is the M2 compass within a tolerance of +/- 20 mils.


An alternative method to establish direction is to set up an aiming circle, and lay it from the operational howitzer. Then the aiming circle lays the non-operational howitzer.