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Archer - FH77BW L52 - Design

A wheeled, self-propelled 155 mm L52 automatic howitzer has been developed, based on the successful towed FH77 B. The new FH 77 BW L52 howitzer has a state-of-the-art tactical and technical performance. The range is 40 km with conventional 155mm ammunition and 60 km with precision guided munitions like the M982 Excalibur. ARCHER carries 21 complete rounds ready to fire in fully automated magazines.

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 66 chassis of the Volvo A30D, all-terrain articulated hauler. Archer is mounted on a commercial articulated vehicle specially developed for high mobility in the most difficult terrain. It provides an average road speed of 70 km/h with a manoeuvre range of 1,000 km per day. The system is supported by an Ammunition Resupply Vehicle (ARV), designed to provide a complete reload of the howitzer within minutes.

Sweden decided that the experiences with the previous BKAN could be massively improved by adding a redesigned loading system, a NATO compatible gun and wheels at the bottom, it apparently had quite the teething problems to the extend that Norway cancelled the order and BAE had been unable to secure any other exports. It is a truck with a big gun on it's back. The system is based on the Howitzer 77, but instead of drawn on the carriage gun carriage is mounted on a modified hauler.

Archer is a modern artillery systems in the area of indirect fire. Salient features are speed, agility and precision. Archer system includes the gun system (see picture) and ammunition handling units. In the current situation there are no similar systems on the market which makes the Archer project to an extensive and complex development projects.

Archer system offers a new dimension in precision control of large areas. All parts are important to the final product and it is the combination between the different parts that make the piece unique in comparison with existing artillery systems. The system is fully automatic and autonomous, that is, the system of artillery firing is integrated. Piece system is a renovated and improved version of the former Bofors-made Field Howitzer 77B. The main difference is the fully automatic loading system and new longer barrel.

The system has a high rate of fire and long reach. Ability is to fire various types of shells, such as explosive shell, smoke, lys, Bonus and Excalibur. The shooting system is integrated on a Volvo A30E dumper. The potential for rapid movement and rapid firing, the system successfully and increase the unit's safety. Grouping time is less than 30 seconds, the previous 10 minutes.

The truck A30E is extended to allow placement of the gun and partly modified to meet the armed forces. It included a new cab reinforced against shrapnel.

Archer is equipped with weapon station Protector, supplied by the Norwegian company Kongsberg A / S. This is for close-range protection of the play and controlled, like the cannon, from the cab operator stations. It is the fully automated system solution that makes Archer unique. Operators need never staying outside the play which increases safety substantially when firing and regrouping. Something that revolutionizes artillery systems use.

Along with the delivery of 24 Archer guns, also 24 ammunition handling units would be delivered. Ammunition Handling Units are needed when to replace munitions Archer. The system is based on a modified standard container that is placed on a protected trucks. The ammunition replace Archer takes about 10 minutes and it is the only time someone has to stay outside the system. The ammunition is moved to Archer with a special lifting equipment.

The crew and engine compartment is armored and the cab is fitted with bullet and fragmentation-proof windows. Aside from this, the system consists of an ammunition resupply vehicle, a support vehicle, BONUS[2] and the M982 Excalibur guided projectile. Compared to Haubit's 77B, Archer has been upgraded for better shooting performance and to fit international ammunition. In addition, it can be remotely controlled via a computer in the driver's cab, which means that the staff usually do not need to get out of the cab when using the vehicle.

The driver's cab is equipped with mine, NBC, fire and noise protection and provides the staff with a protected working environment. The crew cabin is protected against NBC threats, artillery fragmentation, mine attack and blast overpressure. Significant separation of the crew from the armament and munitions further enhances survivability. The system also features a Remotely-Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) mounted on top of the crew compartment.

The entire gun system is controlled by operators from the armoured cabin. Thus no personnel outside the cabin during firing. The system requires minimum manpower operation. One person can do the work alone, but in order to achieve the maximum effect of the system, three operators are recommended. ARCHER can be operated by one person, but the cabin has four workspaces. A standard team consists of the gun commander, the gun operator and the driver.

It is crowded in the cabin. Thick armor to protect crew and equipment from enemy fire. A CBRN unit purifies the air crew to breathe. A special treatment equipment ensures that the levels of carbon monoxide kept within permissible levels inside the cab. The gas produced in abundance by their own fire. Behind the driver are three operator stations in a semicircle. The space between the seats and the driver is covered almost entirely by various screens and panels.

As a part-time soldiers do not handle military equipment everyday, the system compensates automatically for shortcomings in the system the same way as an experienced user. It gives a great chance to discover the potential for improvement. The uniqueness of the Archer is that it is fully automated, so that employees are protected inside the vehicle during the entire process. Archer artillery system consists not only of the gun system with carriers and protruding system of a container based ammunition handling.

When sitting inside the cabin, the gun crew are protected from splinters, mines, NBC and the guns emergent properties like noise and pressure. Unlike many other artillery gun systems the "Archer crew is separated entirely from the armament and ammunition. They do not have to leave the protected cabin when operating the system - exept for maintenance. These features considerably increase crew survivability.

The "Archer system will be able to move rapidly, stop quickly, and deliver lethal first round effects on targets in record time, and move out rapidly (shoot and scout). Significant features are good all-terrain mobility, transportability by rail, sea and air, excellent protection, great weapon capability due to range, precision and methods, interoperable with Western artillery standards and very low operational and maintenance costs.

Fire capabilities include direct fire and Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI). Precision targeting is achieved using highly integrated components, such as ballistic calculation, in the gun computer system. Firing and operation of the gun computer can both be handled automatically or manually, providing ultimate flexibility.

ARCHER has a road-speed of up to 70 km/h and can be air-transported by A 400 M From being on the run it takes less than 30 seconds to receive a call for fire, stop, get into action and fire the first round. When the mission is accomplished it takes less than 30 seconds to get out of action and being on the move again.

The computers give operators full control over the system to handle ballistic calculation, shooting, Vo-measurement, security controls, ammunition management, communications, combat management, navigation, operation monitoring, tracking, observation and fire management. The whole wagon is equipped with a weight-optimized ballistic protection and a mobile masking system and is adapted to work in different types of environments and climate.



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Page last modified: 21-02-2019 18:44:21 ZULU