The Swedish Government has approved the procurement of 24 Archer artillery sets from BAE Systems in a joint acquisition project with Norway.

The Archer is a three to four-seat armoured articulated dumper vehicle with an artillery calibre of 155m and range of 50km and a rate of fire of ten to 12 shots a minute.

The vehcile also provides protection against small arms fire, nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC ) weapons and mines at a firing rate of ten shots a minute.

Sweden and Norway will share development and maintenance costs of the artillery system and undertake joint training, exercises, modifications and upgrades.

Two Archer prototypes will be manufactured this year, while the delivery of the first production vehicles will start in 2011.