The Archer Artillery System, or Archer – FH77BW L52, or Artillerisystem 08 is an international project aimed at developing a next-generation self-propelled gun system for Sweden and Norway. The new FH 77 BW L52 howitzer has a state-of-the-art tactical and technical performance, based on the successful towed FH77 B. 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. From being on the run it takes less than 30 seconds to receive a call for fire, stop, get into action and fire the first round. When the mission is accomplished it takes less than 30 seconds to get out of action and being on the move again.
The Archer 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. The vehicle can reach road-speeds of up to 70 km/h, is capable of traversing snow up to a depth of 1 meter, is rail transportable and can be air-transportable in the new A400M aircraft. 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 unit cost is approximately $4,500,000.
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. For armoured vehicles, the Bofors 155 Bonus is used.
The Archer Artillery System is designed for high strategic, operational and tactical mobility. 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 -1° to +70° vertically and −85° to +85° horizontally. 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 2,000m.