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Archer

155 mm self-propelled gun-howitzer

Archer

The Archer is a next generation self-propelled artillery system

 
 
Country of origin Sweden
Entered service 2013
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ?
Length (gun forward) over 14 m
Hull length ?
Width 2.74 m
Height 2.89 m
Armament
Main gun 155 mm
Barrel length 52 calibers
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm
Muzzle velocity ?
Projectile weight ?
Maximum firing range 30 - 60 km
Maximum rate of fire 8 - 9 rpm
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 20 rounds
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power 340 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.5 m
Trench ~ 0.9 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m

 

   The Archer is a next generation artillery system. It was developed to create a more mobile version of the FH 77B field howitzer with a longer range of fire. First technical studies to integrate a 155 mm/L52 ordnance of the FH 77B on a wheeled chassis were made in 1995. The prototype was known as the FH-77 BW L52. It was based on a Vovlo A25C articulated wheeled chassis with 6x6 configuration. Development of this artillery system began in 2003. Prototypes of the Archer were trialed in 2005 and 2006. Sweden and Norway ordered a total of 48 of these artillery systems (24 units each). A number of other countries expressed interest in obtaining this artillery system. So at the time it was a promising design. First Archer howitzers were delivered to the Swedish Army in 2013. However during the same year Norway left the project due to funding problems. Currently Sweden is the only operator of this artillery system.

   The Archer is a further development of the FH 77B 155 mm field howitzer. It has a longer 52 caliber gun for longer ranges. The Archer is fitted with a rapid automatic ammunition loading system. Maximum range of fire is 30 km with ordinary High Explosive (HE) projectile and 40 km with rocket-assisted HE projectile. The Archer also fires Excalibur extended range precision guided projectiles with a maximum range of 60 km. It is also compatible with Bonus precision guided projectiles. The Bonus has a range of 34 km and carries two smart anti-tank submunitions.

   Maximum rate of fire is 8-9 rounds per minute. The Archer is capable of Multiple-Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) firing. It launches up to 6 shells in 30 seconds, each in different trajectories, so that all of the shells arrive on target at the same time. This self-propelled howitzer has onboard ammunition supply of 20 rounds.

   It takes only 30 seconds to stop and prepare for firing. Out of action time is also as short as 30 seconds. The FH 77 series field howitzers are emplaced within around 10 minutes. So it was a huge improvement. Brief redeployment time allows to avoid counter-battery fire.

   There is also a LEMUR remotely-controlled weapon station, armed with a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun for self-defense and smoke grenade dischargers.

   The Archer has a crew of 4, including driver, commander and 2 operators. In case of emergency this artillery system can be operated by a crew of only 2 men (driver and one operator). The Archer artillery system is operated remotely from the cab.

   Cab and ordnance of the Archer is protected against 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell fragments. It is fitted with an automatic fire suppression system. Though, only vital parts of the artillery system are protected. Cab is fitted with NBC protection system. It also withstands mine blasts equivalent to 6 kg of TNT.

   The Archer artillery system is mounted on a commercially available Volvo A30D 6x6 articulated hauler chassis. Vehicle is has a run flat system and can move with all wheels puncutred. The Archer can be airlifted by an Airbus A400M or similar military transport aircraft.

   The Archer is reloaded by an associated ammunition resupply vehicle. Each self-propelled artillery system is assigned with one resupply vehicle. Reloading takes up to 8 minutes. If required, the Archer can be reloaded by resupply personnel alone. Each Archer battery is also assigned with one support (maintenance) vehicle. It conducts refueling and simple maintenance.

   In 2019 a new version of the Archer, based on a MAN HX2 series truck with 8x8 configuration was revealed. Interestingly, Sweden ordered a numbed of MAN HX2 series tactical military trucks in 2014 with deliveries commencing in 2017.

 

 

 
Archer

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Archer

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Archer

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Archer

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Archer ammunition resupply vehicle

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Archer

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys
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