BAE Systems’ have unveiled new video ‘Archer Shoot and Scoot’. ARCHER was the culmination of a concept that originated during the waning days of the Cold War when Sweden was considering how to modernize the country’s artillery. BAE Systems’ Weapon Systems business in Sweden – previously known as Bofors – had long been a trusted supplier of munitions and weapons to the Swedish military, dating back to the 1800s. The Bofors F77A had served as the backbone of Sweden’s artillery throughout the 1980s. However, studies looking at the future needs for indirect fire capabilities carried out toward the end of the decade identified some shortcomings, as defence needs were evolving.
The modern battlefield is characterized by a multitude of threats and challenges. In order to improve survivability, combat units must be able to work together effectively. The tasks of the artillery may include preparation fire over long distances, suppressing fire, and being able to follow fast-moving ground forces for several days. Fast emplacement and displacement is crucial for delivering fire support when needed, as well as avoiding counter-battery fire. Parts of the Archer capabilities may feature in other systems out there, but bring together the full portfolio of capabilities to the warfighter in one single system the way Archer does.
BAE Systems’ Archer needs less than 30 seconds from the time the operators receive a call for fire, to stop the vehicle, position for action, and fire the first round. Less than 30 seconds after the mission is accomplished, Archer is on the move again. Archer can get into place, fire six rounds, displace, and move 500m in less than two minutes, while the crew remains in an armored cabin.The combination of Archer’s features sets it apart from other artillery systems: The superior range; high rate of fire; rapid emplacement and displacement; mobility; crew work environment; and safety, to name a few.
In addition to the need for longer range and higher accuracy, there was a desire for higher mobility and fast deployment speeds to be effective on battlefields of the future. And following the end of the Cold War, cost and manpower considerations took on greater importance as the Swedish Armed Forces looked to realign in the absence of a Soviet threat. ARCHER also benefits from the concurrent development and fielding of the Excalibur 155mm Precision Guided Extended Range Artillery Projectile, helping extend its range to 50km.The ARCHER’s integrated systems enables smart munitions like Excalibur to be automatically programmed by the system’s operators with just a few clicks from the safety of the cabin.