New 155mm artillery to Ukraine – 8 ARCHERs arrived from Sweden

As affirmed by the Swedish Ministry of Defense on November 4, 2023, Swedish artillery firepower in combat against Russian forces has been significantly augmented by the installation of eight Archer 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers. 

The deployment of these artillery units constitutes a representational aspect of Sweden’s unwavering military aid to Ukraine, which, since the war’s commencement, has been estimated to exceed a staggering $2 billion.

Archer’s platforms

Sweden intends to supply 155mm Archer artillery systems to Ukraine
Photo credit: Twitter

The Archer Artillery System’s earliest variant was conceptualized for the Volvo A30D 6×6, an adaptable all-terrain hauler vehicle. The execution of the entirety of the gun system, unhindered by weather conditions, is safely confined to the armored vehicle cabin. This compartment is equipped with windows fortified against bullets and fragmentations. 

The cabin can accommodate up to four crew members. Though ideally manned by a three or four-person team, the operation of the howitzer is possible with a lone operator. The system’s design incorporates a munition carrier that consists of a removable standard container, affixed to a bulletproof all-terrain truck. The cost for each unit approximates to $4,500,000. 

The Archer Artillery System accommodated its development for a second platform, the Rheinmetall HX2 8×8. The Swedish Army placed an order for 48 of these systems in 2023 without demanding any revisions other than its integration with the vehicle. 

In a bid to serve the US Military, BAE Bofors is presenting this system as an attractive choice. They are also working on conceptual variants based on the Oshkosh HEMTT [8×8] or the Oshkosh PLS [10×10].

Armament

This vehicle houses a fully automated magazine, capable of storing 21, 155 mm projectiles. A purpose-designed lifting apparatus is used to replenish the magazine from an accompanying munitions carrier, a process that approximately takes a duration of 10 minutes. 

Both NATO modular charges and the Bofors Uniflex 2 modular charges are compatible with the howitzer. The Uniflex 2IM system contains two different combustible charge case sizes; a full-size and a half-size. Both these cases are filled with the same insensitive guanylate dinitramide [GuDN] propellant. 

 An advantage of this modular charge system is its ability to offer several charge increments, thereby enhancing its multiple rounds simultaneous impact [MRSI] capability and providing an advantageous range overlap between the different increments. 

Incorporating BAE Bofors/Nexter Bonus rounds extends the range to 35 kilometers [22 mi]. The usage of the precision-guided Raytheon/Bofors M982 Excalibur rounds, which are equipped with glide wings, allows for the gun’s range to be extended beyond 50 kilometers [31 mi]. 

The Excalibur shell is guided towards a pre-determined trajectory while in flight via a GPS guidance system. For armored vehicles, the go-to choice is the Bofors 155 Bonus. 

Deployment

The system is engineered with an emphasis on superior strategic, tactical, and operational mobility. Capable of attaining speeds reaching 90 kilometers per hour [56 mph] on highways, it offers the ability to navigate through snow, up to one metre [3.3 ft] in depth. It can be transported by rail or by air, leveraging the capabilities of Boeing C-17 Globemaster III and Airbus A400M Atlas aircraft. 

At the rear of the chassis, a large hydraulic stabilizer is installed, which is lowered when the vehicle occupies the chosen firing stance. The gun offers an elevation and traverse range of -1° to +70° in the vertical axis and -85° to +85° in the horizontal spectrum. Both deployment and redeployment times clock under 30 seconds. 

The system is equipped to deliver high-precision strikes, offering sustained firepower to support deep firing operations. It outperforms with a provision to carry more than 25 t of ammunition per gun, facilitating a full day’s operation. The howitzer can consistently fire 75 rounds per hour, intensively fire 20 rounds [a complete magazine] in 2.5 minutes [effective rate of 480 rounds per hour], and unleash a salvo fire of three rounds in 15 seconds [effective rate of 720 rounds per hour].  

The system’s MRSI ability, translating to multiple rounds of simultaneous impact, extends to 6 rounds. In circumstances necessitating target ranges up to 2,000 meters [2,200 yd], direct sighting can be employed.

***

Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news, follow our Google News, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages. Our standards: Manifesto & ethical principles.