Sweden may soon supply the Ukrainian Armed Forces with 12 units of Archer Artillery Systems, on October 26, 2022, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lidén from the Swedish Defense Academy told that the Swedish Ministry Of Defense has submitted a report to the government that they could provide 12 of their 48 available Archer 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. The Swedish-made Archer Self-propelled truck mounted artillery is said to be the best artillery system in the world. It is known for its excellent battlefield survivability, great firepower and other advanced technologies integrated on the system.
Sweden is considering the possibility of supplying Archer Artillery Systems to Ukraine since the last 3 to 4 months. Some media reports published in August 2022, reported that the Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Ann Lind, announced that sweden is evaluating the possibility of supplying Archer 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers, Robotsystem 70 man-portable air defense missile systems and some other types of military equipments to Ukraine.
The Archer Artillery System is also known as FH77BW L52, or Artillerisystem 08, this artillery system was designed to be operated by the Armed Forces of Norway and Sweden.
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. The system also includes an ammunition resupply vehicle, a support vehicle, BONUS submunitions and M982 Excalibur guided projectiles.
The Archer Artillery System entered into service with the Swedish Armed Forces in 2011, the system is produced by BAE Systems Bofors, per unit cost of the Archer is approximately $4 million. A total of 48 units of the system are built till date.
The Archer Artillery System 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 (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 kilometres (22 mi). The range of the gun is extended to 60 kilometres (37 mi) with the precision-guided Raytheon/Bofors M982 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 Archer Artillery System is designed to have high strategic, operational and tactical mobility. The vehicle can reach road-speeds of up to 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph), is capable of traversing snow up to a depth of one metre (3.3 ft), is rail transportable and can be air-transported in C-17 or 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 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 Archer Artillery System has the weight of 30 tonnes (66,000 lb), the vehicle has the overall length of 14.1 metres (46 ft 3 in), width of 3.0 m (9 ft 10 in) and height of 3.9 meters (12 ft 10 in).
The Gun System is operated by the crew of 2-4 (Commander, driver, 1-2 operators), the system has the striking range of 60 km (37 mi).
The Vehicle is powered by a Diesel engine which generates a total power output of 340 hp (250 kW). The vehicle has very good on-road speed. It has the speed of 90 km/h (56 mph).