BAE Systems say the signing of the Archer production contract for Sweden and Norway on 26 March 2010 has given added impetus to marketing efforts for the advanced 155mm artillery system in the South East Asia region.
1st May 2010
BAE Systems say the signing of the Archer production contract for Sweden and Norway on 26 March 2010 has given added impetus to marketing efforts for the advanced 155mm artillery system in the South East Asia region. BAE Systems was awarded a £135 million ($200m) contract to commence series production of 48 Archer 155mm self-propelled artillery gun systems and their associated ammunition handling systems for the Swedish and Norwegian armed forces. The first operational systems are expected to be delivered in October 2011 and production will continue over the following two years. This production contract follows a USD 150 million development programme which began in 2003.
Mike Smith, managing director of BAE Systems, Global Combat Systems Weapons said: “Archer is an important programme for the armed forces of both countries and for BAE Systems’ land business, as it is in a core area for us and will provide a springboard for future exports. We appreciate the effort and cooperation that the FMV and FLO – the national procurement agencies - have invested in ensuring the procurement of the most advanced and capable artillery system for the Swedish and Norwegian armies.”
Archer is an advanced and automated artillery gun system in production, designed for rapid deployment and high mobility in the most demanding operational scenarios. The digital fire control system and automatic gun-laying capability allows a response to calls for fire within 30 seconds while the ordnance is securely stowed and ready for rapid redeployment within 30 seconds of the completion of a fire mission.
The Archer system combines the proven firepower of the BAE Systems’ FH77 B05 52 calibre cannon with a modified Volvo commercial A30E 6x6 rugged articulated vehicle. The company says the weapon provides an enhanced operational capability, delivering concentrated firepower with conventional munitions to a range of 40 km+ and to ranges up to 50km with advanced munitions while the crew of three remains fully protected in the armoured cab command module.
A lighter, cheaper version of the Archer system, called Crossbow, has just been launched. It features a 52-calibre version of the ordnance from the FH77 B02 towed gun to minimise logistics and training costs. Handling drills from this weapon have been largely retained and Crossbow can be operated by as few as three soldiers. With no automatic magazine, the system is significantly lighter than Archer.