The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and BAE Systems Bofors signed a letter of intent (LOI) to establish an additional Archer 8×8 self-propelled howitzer (SPH) battalion. Sweden’s 24 additional Archer will be mounted on the Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) HX2 8×8 truck, seen displayed at Eurosatory 2022. The original ARCHER, first delivered to the Swedish Armed Forces in 2013, is mounted on a Volvo A30 6X6 articulated hauler. The LOI was signed by BAE Systems Bofors managing director Lena Gillström and Brigadier General Mikael Frisell, director of land systems at the FMV on 15 June. This letter of intent lays out the path for additional Archers in line with the Swedish Total Defence Strategy 2021–25.
BAE Systems is unveiling a new ARCHER Mobile Howitzer at Eurosatory 2022 that is highly adaptable to diverse terrains and battlefield conditions, giving it the flexibility needed to meet a wide range of mission requirements for militaries around the world. The key is a modular design that allows it to be integrated onto different truck chassis and then seamlessly introduced into existing vehicle fleets. The ARCHER’s modularity makes it a cost-effective solution that provides critical battlefield capabilities. This new international version of the ARCHER can be easily integrated onto a variety of different chassis, allowing the customer to specify the vehicle best suited to their needs.
The vehicle platform is a modification of the Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles 8×8 truck. 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. ARCHER can fire the BONUS anti-armor munition up to 35km, conventional munitions up to 40km, and the precision-guided munition Excalibur in excess of 50km. The automated magazines can hold a mix of different ammunition types and modular charges needed to support any mission. 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.
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 all-terrain articulated truck. The crew and engine compartment is armoured and the cab is fitted with bullet and fragmentation- resistant windows. Operators control the entire gun system from the safety of ARCHER’s armored cabin. In only 20 seconds, the vehicle can stop and fire its first round. After completion of the fire mission, ARCHER is on the move again within 20 seconds. In less than two minutes, ARCHER can fire six rounds, displace, and move 500 meters, while the crew remains in the armored cabin, making the ARCHER the ultimate shoot-and-scoot system for soldier and platform survivability.