BAE Systems has proposed its fully automated Archer howitzer for the US Army as the latter plans to induct a 155mm wheeled gun system to meet future requirements.

The Archer system is a self-propelled howitzer designed to fire within 30 seconds. It carries 21 complete rounds, which can all be fired in less than three minutes.

Already in service with the Swedish Army, the artillery piece can fire conventional munitions up to 40km.

In July, the US Army released a request for proposals (RFP) for mobile howitzers.

In response to the RFP, BAE Systems now intends to offer Archer for participation in a ‘shoot off’ evaluation early next year at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

According to the company, the mobile Archer howitzer can travel at a road-speed of up to 70km/h and can also be deployed in difficult terrain.

The system offers four workspaces, but a crew of one soldier can operate the howitzer. However, a standard team will comprise three people, a gun commander, gun operator and driver.

BAE Systems business development director said: “Archer is a mature, proven system that can quickly get into the fight and strike enemy targets at long ranges, with a high rate of fire and very fast displacement times, and is made for combat against large power adversaries.

“With a fully automated system, soldiers can execute their mission with minimal physical exertion and time, while remaining under cover in the armoured cabin.

“The cab protection, fast shoot and scoot times and its extended range all enhance survivability and sustain fire support in harsh combat conditions.”

BAE Systems Bofors in Sweden manufactures these Archer howitzers. The complete system can be transported C17 and A400M ‘Atlas’ aircraft.

Last month, BAE Systems delivered the first Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) to the US Army.