Artillery types

Archer: Artillery that travels at 56 miles per hour and fires 20 seconds after stopping

How about a self-propelled artillery system that can travel 90 km/h and start firing 20 seconds after it stops moving? That’s what the maker of the Archer truck-mounted howitzer claims its gun can do. Sweden were so impressed that they signed an agreement on June 15, during which they purchased 24 more Archer systems as part of its latest defense strategy to protect the homeland against an aggressive Russia and to enhance its capabilities should it join NATO.

Sweden is on fire

The purchase of BAE Bofors System to Eurosatory Defense and Security Expo in Paris will be a welcome addition to Sweden’s artillery arsenal. The Archer is a 155mm howitzer that brings power, speed and precision to the Swedish army. The Nordic country has been using the Archer since 2015 and it had 48 systems as part of the fleet. These first versions are mounted on a Volvo 6X6 truck. The new Archers will be carried by a Rheinmetall MAN Military HX2 8×8 Chassis.

Long Range Guided Ammunition

The advantage of the Archer is that he can shoot M982 Excalibur GPS-guided 155mm extended range rounds. The shell is jam-proof with a distance of only 6 feet, regardless of range. The Excalibur travels up to 37 miles.

rapid fire system

The Archer can throw 20 rounds in 2.5 minutes and when it comes time to fire a salvo, it can land three ranged shots in 15 seconds. The truck can stop moving and begin a fire mission in 20 seconds, then after another 20 seconds the three-man crew can make it mobile again – heading to its next launch area to engage another target .

It can be standardized on various trucks

The Archer was introduced to international customers outside of Sweden in 2019. One of the selling points of the Archer is its modular system. The gun can be added to a truck chassis that already exists in a country’s inventory. BAE Systems says it is easy to use and new users can be trained quickly in its use.

Automatic firing system

The Archer has improved its automated technology suite over the years. “We could take all the calculations normally done remotely and manually in a fire direction center and put them in the barrel. As a result, the gun could work more or less on its own. It was a significant innovation at the system level,” said Mikael Take, Archer program manager.

Archers in Ukraine? Not yet

There have been some reports that Sweden could offer some Archers to Ukraine, but nothing has been officially confirmed on an agreement of this nature from the Swedish government. The Archer is also one of the first two finalists to become the new artillery system for Switzerland. The The US military even put the Archer through its paces at Yuma Proving Ground in New Mexico last year. But it doesn’t seem likely to add a new artillery system from a foreign vendor just yet.

Lots to love

The Archer is an exciting system and BAE says even more countries asked to order the system after Russia invaded Ukraine. Its capabilities are impressive, especially the speed of the truck and the efficiency of its operation. Ukraine could put it to good use, although Sweden has not offered any type of advanced weapon system to Kyiv. Stockholm focuses more on the individual equipment of Ukrainian soldiers. Meanwhile, Sweden is expected to have an impressive weapons system for its ground forces as the transition to NATO membership continues.

Now as 1945 Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. EastwoodPhD, is the author of Humans, Machines and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an emerging threat expert and former US Army infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.