A Swedish Armed Forces highly mobile Archer Artillery System fires a round at a demonstration for U.S. Soldiers and Airmen on Nov. 15, 2021, at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Service members from across the country provided operational support, physical security, and force health protection enforcement during the Joint Staff sponsored Coalition Capability Demonstration and Assessment event Bold Quest 21.2 held at Camp Atterbury and Mascatatuck Urban Training Center, Indiana, Oct. 18 through Nov. 18. 2021. 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. Royal Swedish Artillery Regiment has 48 in service. In 2020 the Swedish army placed an order for 24 additional Archers, increasing the total to 72.
During Bold Quest 21, American and partner and allied special operations troops got to improve their interoperability, targeting, and airstrike procedures while working with some of the most lethal airframes in the world. As a recurring exercise, Bold Quest brings together allied and partner nations every few months. As a result, ideas and tactics, techniques, and procedures circulate, making the participants better in their craft and more effective on the battlefield. In addition, joint training events are the best way to build interoperability short of war. Moreover, as an international training event, Bold Quest 21 had special operations participants from other countries. For example, Norway’s elite counterterrorism special operations units, the Forsvarets Spesialkommando (FSK), sent operators to the U.S. to participate in the exercise.
The Howitzer was developed for the Swedish armed forces following a contract awarded to Bofors (now BAE Systems Bofors) in 2003. The heart of the Archer Artillery 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 vehicle cabin and engine compartment are fully armoured and the cab is fitted with bullet and fragmentation-proof windows. 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 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. 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.