Archer Artillery System

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ARCHER Artillery System
Archerside commons.jpg
A deployed Archer
TypeSelf-propelled gun
Place of originSweden
Service history
In service2011 - Present
Used bySwedish Armed Forces
Production history
ManufacturerBofors (now BAE Systems Bofors)
Unit cost4 million
No. built48
Mass30 tonnes (66,000 lb)
LengthOverall: 14.1 metres (46 ft 3 in)
Gun barrel: 8.06 m (26 ft 5 in)
WidthOverall: 3.0 m (9 ft 10 in)
Height3.3–3.9 m (10 ft 10 in–12 ft 10 in)
Crew2-4 (Commander, driver, 1-2 operators)

Rate of fire20 rounds in 2.5min
1 round in 7.5 seconds
Effective firing rangeStandard shells:
30 km (19 mi)
40 km (25 mi)
60 km (37 mi)

FH 77 derived 155-mm/52-calibre howitzer
Protector (RWS) Remote weapon system
340 hp (250 kW)
Suspension6×6, Solid axles, multilink, hydraulic suspension (called "independent suspension" by Volvo, meaning solid axles are not rigidly fixed to the frame)
500 kilometres (310 mi)
Maximum speed 65 km/h (40 mph)

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.[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- resistant windows. Aside from this, the system consists of an ammunition resupply vehicle, a support vehicle, and BONUS submunition [2] and M982 Excalibur guided projectiles.


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 articulated haul truck (6x6). 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][unreliable source?]

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] and the first guns finally entered service on 1 February 2016.[9]

The Norwegian government withdrew from the project in December 2013.[10]

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. The unit cost is approximately $4,500,000.


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. For armoured vehicles, the Bofors 155 Bonus is used.


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. 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.

General characteristics[edit]

Side view of an Archer
  • Length: 14.1 meters
  • Width: 3.0 meters
  • Height: 3.3 meters without the Protector mounted, 3.9 meters with.
  • Weight: 30 metric tons (30 Mg)
  • 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.


  • Sweden Swedish Army - 48 in service, 24 originally ordered[11] for Royal Swedish Artillery Regiment (9th Artillery regiment).[5] Decided to buy additional 24 Norwegian export systems on 20 September 2016.[12] In 2020 the Swedish army placed an order for 24 additional Archers, increasing the total to 72.[13]

Cancelled orders[edit]

  • Norway Norwegian Army - 24 ordered[11] for Royal Norwegian Artillery Battalion. The order was cancelled in December 2013 for not meeting needs within the time remaining available.[14]
  • Croatia The Croatian Army stated a requirement for up to 24 systems as a replacement for their 2S1 Gvozdika, which were nearing the end of their life-cycle; but due to the economic crisis that occurred between 2008 and 2012 a decision on a new artillery system was postponed. The Croatian MOD eventually chose surplus PzH 2000 over the Archer System as it was deemed to be a cheaper alternative to the Archer. 12 Ex-German PzH 2000 refurbished pieces were purchased for $54 million, to enter service in 2015/16.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Norwegian-Swedish cooperation on the future of artillery - invitation to the signing of agreement" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Ministry of Defence. 30 May 2007. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  2. ^ "155 BONUS Strike and destroy up to 35 km" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-08-26.
  3. ^ Zerpe, Håkan (4 September 2008). "Klartecken för Archer". Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Government decision on ARCHER". Ministry of Defence (Sweden). Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Archer FH77 BW L52 Self-Propelled Howitzer, Sweden". Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  6. ^ Eriksson, Anna K. "Sverige står helt utan artilleri". Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  7. ^ Swedish army has received first pre-serial production of Archer 155mm 6x6 self-propelled howitzer -, 23 September 2013
  8. ^ Sweden Takes Delivery of First Four Archer Artillery Systems -, 26 September 2013
  9. ^ A Good Day at the Artillery Regiment -, 9 February 2016
  10. ^ "Norge avslutter kontrakten om artillerisystemet Archer". (in Norwegian). 6 December 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Swedens Archer Self-Propelled Artillery Project". Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  12. ^ Larrinaga, de, Nicholas (20 September 2016). "Sweden to double Archer artillery purchase". IHS Jane's 360. London. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  13. ^ Råssjö, Pelle (2020-11-02). "Kanonglädje i Bofors – ska leverera fler Archer i försvarets nya satsning". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  14. ^ Norway; Mod cancels participation in Swedish ARCHER 155mm Archived 2013-12-11 at -, 11 December 2013
  15. ^ "HV ĆE POTROŠITI 275 MILIJUNA NA VOZILA I ORUŽJE Kotromanović nabavlja vrhunsku haubicu kakvu imaju samo 4 vojske na svijetu". Retrieved 28 December 2016.

External links[edit]

Video links