Archer artillery

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and the Armed Forces are conducting a joint analysis of the impact of Norway’s withdrawal from the FH77 L52 Archer artillery system development programme.

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Norway, which was associated with the project since December 2007, pulled out in December 2013, citing non-performance to the contract terms.

Norwegian Department of International Relations headquarters command staff head, Peter Fredriksson, said Norway’s cancellation of research cooperation was surprising and a setback.

”But our relationship with Norway does not depend only on what happens with a single project,” Fredriksson said.

”If the Norwegian defection means some additional expenses for Sweden, that can change our analysis.”

The command common impact assessment report is scheduled to be submitted to the cabinet office later this month.

Norway and Sweden had awarded a contract to BAE Systems for supply of 24 wheeled systems each to their respective armed forces in March 2010.

"If the Norwegian defection means some additional expenses for Sweden, that can change our analysis."

As per the contract terms, all 24 guns were scheduled to be delivered to Norway by the end of 2013, but BAE failed to deliver even a single system, prompting the country to terminate the contract.

The Swedish Armed Forces, however, received four systems in September 2013.

A development of the 155mm towed FH77 L39 system, the Archer is a fully automated 155mm howitzer and a M151 Protector remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) mounted on a modified 6×6 chassis of Volvo A30D all-terrain truck, and is designed for rapid deployment and high mobility in demanding operational scenarios.

Having an operational range of 40km using current standard ammunition and 60km with the M982 Excalibur rounds, the howitzer can be used in both traditional warfare fire support and modern international peace-keeping and peace enforcement missions.

Image: a firing test involving the Archer artillery system. Photo: courtesy of Swedish Defence Materiel Administration.

Defence Technology