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ARCHER Artillery System
Archerside commons.jpg
A deployed Archer
Type Self-propelled artillery
Place of origin Sweden
Production history
Designed 1995
Specifications
Weight 30 tonnes (66,000 lb)
Length Overall: 14.1 metres (46 ft 3 in)
Gun barrel: 8.06 m (26 ft 5 in)
Width Overall: 3.0 m (9 ft 10 in)
Height 3.3–3.9 m (10 ft 10 in–12 ft 10 in)
Crew 3-4 (Commander, driver, 1-2 operators)

Main
armament
FH 77 derived 155-mm/52-calibre howitzer
Secondary
armament
Protector (RWS) Remote weapon system
Engine Diesel
340 hp (250 kW)
Suspension 6×6 Independent suspension
Operational
range
500 kilometres (310 mi)
Speed 65 km/h (40 mph)

The Archer Artillery System or Archer - FH77BW L52 is an international project aimed at developing a next-generation self-propelled artillery system for Sweden and Norway.[1] The heart of the system is a fully automated 155 mm/L52 gun howitzer and a M151 Protector remote controlled weapon station mounted on a modified 6×6 chassis of the Volvo A30D, all-terrain articulated hauler. The crew and engine compartment is armoured and the cab is fitted with bullet and fragmentation-proof windows. Aside from this, the system consists of an ammunition resupply vehicle, a support vehicle, BONUS Sensor-fused Artillery Shell[2] and the M982 Excalibur guided projectile.

Development[edit]

The project began its life in 1995 as earlier studies for a self-propelled system based on the FH 77. Further test systems received the designation FH 77BD and FH 77BW. By 2004, two prototypes had been ordered based on a lengthened version of the FH 77B mounted on a modified Volvo Construction Equipment A30D dump truck (6×6 Volvo chassis). In 2008, Sweden ordered a first batch of seven units, while Norway ordered one.[3][4] In August 2009, Norway and Sweden ordered 24 Archers each, in a cooperative deal.[5]

The Howitzer was developed for the Swedish armed forces following a contract awarded to Bofors (now BAE Systems Bofors) in 2003 by Försvarets Materielverk (FMV), the Swedish defence acquisition agency to build two demonstrator howitzers. The prototype FH77 BW L52 self-propelled howitzers entered firing trials in Sweden in 2005 and 2006. In September 2006, the FMV placed a contract for detailed design work on Archer and, in January 2007, a contract for the next development phase. The Swedish Army has a requirement for 24 systems (two battalions). Following In September 2008, the Swedish government approved the final development and procurement of the Archer artillery system.

In November 2008, Sweden and Norway signed a co-operative agreement for the development of the Archer system and, in January 2009, awarded BAE Systems a contract to complete development of the artillery system with the exception of the remote weapon system which is made by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. A final prototype is scheduled for completion by September 2009, which is expected to be followed by a contract for 48 systems – 24 for Sweden and 24 for Norway. Archer was planned to enter service in 2011 but was delayed until October 2013. This because of unforeseen technical problems.[6]

The Swedish Army received its first four pre-serial production FH-77 BW L52 Archer systems on 23 September 2013.[7][8]

Vehicle platform[edit]

The vehicle platform is a modification of the Volvo A30D 6×6 articulated all-terrain hauler vehicle. The vehicle cabin and engine compartment are fully armoured and the cab is fitted with bullet and fragmentation-proof windows. The cabin seats up to four personnel. The howitzer is operated by three or four crew. The system also includes a munition carrier consisting of a removable, modified standard container mounted on a ballistic-proofed all-terrain lorry.

Ammunition[edit]

Another view of the deployed ARCHER

The vehicle carries 21 155mm projectiles in the fully automatic magazine. Reloading the magazine from the accompanying munitions carrier takes about 10 minutes using the purpose-built lifting device. The howitzer can use NATO modular charges or Bofors Uniflex 2 modular charges. The Uniflex 2IM modular charge system consists of two sizes of combustible charge cases; one full-size and one half-size case, both filled with the same type of insensitive guanylurea dinitramide (fr) (GuDN) propellant. The modular charge system allows several increments of charge to be available and increases the gun system's multiple rounds simultaneous impact (MRSI) capability and good range overlap between the increments. With BAE Bofors/Nexter Bonus rounds the range is 35 km. The range of the gun is extended to 60 km with the precision-guided Raytheon/Bofors XM982 Excalibur round. The Excalibur shell is corrected in flight towards a pre-programmed trajectory by a GPS guidance system.

Deployment[edit]

The system is designed for high strategic, operational and tactical mobility. The vehicle can reach road-speeds of up to 70 km/h, is capable of traversing snow up to a depth of 100 cm, is rail transportable and can be air-transportable in the new A400M aircraft. A large hydraulically operated stabilizer is installed in the rear of the chassis and is lowered with the vehicle in the selected firing position. The gun elevation and traverse ranges are 0° to +70° and −75° to +75°. The initial deployment time and the redeployment times are each less than 30 seconds. The system provides precision strike and high sustained firepower for support and for deep firing operations with more than 25 t of ammunition per gun and 24-hour operation. The howitzer has a continuous fire rate of 75 rounds per hour, an intensive fire rate of 20 rounds (i.e., a full magazine) in 2.5 minutes (effective rate, 480 per hour), and a salvo fire rate of three rounds in 15 seconds (effective rate, 720 per hour). The MRSI capability, multiple round simultaneous impact, is up to 6 rounds. Direct-sighting can be used for target ranges up to 2,000 m.

General characteristics[edit]

  • Length: 14.1 metres
  • Width: 3.0 metres
  • Height: 3.3 metres without the Protector mounted, 3.9 metres with.
  • Weight: 30 tonnes
  • Speed: 65 km/h
  • Range: ~500 km
  • Crew: 3-4 (commander, driver, 1-2 operators) but in case of emergencies a driver and a gunner can operate the vehicle.
  • Armament: 155-mm/L52 gun howitzer, Kongsberg Protector remote weapon system.
  • Rate of fire: 8–9 rounds/min in Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact-mode, which means that several shells are fired in succession with different trajectories so they hit the target simultaneously.
  • Weapon range (main gun): 30 km with standard shells, 40 km with base-bleed, 60 km with Excalibur
  • Protection level of armour: 7.62 mm armour-piercing rounds, mines up to 6 kg (Level 2 STANAG 4569)
  • Emergency driving: all wheels - emergency driving equipment (Hutchinson AMVFI) makes it possible to drive with all wheels punctured; it also provides greater protection if the vehicle hits a blast-pressure mine; the same system is used on the Finnish APC Pasi.

Operators[edit]

Under evaluation[edit]

Cancelled orders[edit]

  • Croatia The Croatian Army has stated a requirement for up to 24 systems as a replacement for their current 2S1 Gvozdika, which are nearing their end use; but due to the current economic crisis a decision on a new artillery system has been postponed for a few years. The Croatian MOD has chosen the PzH 2000 over the Archer System as it was deemed cheaper a alternative to the expensive Archer. 18 PzH 2000 refurbished pieces were purchased for $36 million, to enter service in 2014/5.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

fmv.se (Swedish)

External links[edit]

Video links

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archer_Artillery_System — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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1 news items

Next Big Future

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Sun, 06 Jul 2014 15:24:16 -0700

One of the america's military-industrial complex's most important inventions comes out of the barrel of a howitzer. It's called the "Excalibur," and it's a 155-millimeter howitzer round that creator Raytheon says can target an object 30 miles away and ...
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