The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has taken delivery of the first batch of four FH77 L52 Archer artillery systems under contract from BAE Systems during a ceremony at the company's facility in Karlskoga, Sweden.
The delivery follows a $200m contract secured by BAE for supply of a total of 48 artillery systems, including 24 each for the Swedish and Norwegian armed forces, along with associated ammunition handling systems in 2010.
BAE Systems' Weapon Systems business managing director Lena Gillstrom said Archer is an important programme for both the Swedish and Norwegian armed forces and the delivery represents 'a significant important milestone in the company's partnership with the two militaries'.
The company now looks forward to continuing the partnership with the Swedish and Norwegian customer in working on the delivery of all systems, Gillström added.
FMV director general Lena Erixon said the delivery is a combined effort of Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (FLO), BAE Systems Bofors and FMV.
''They will now be transported to Boden where FMV, FLO and the artillery regiment will continue with both tests and training,'' Erixon added.
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 6x6 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.
The system is also in contention to replace the Royal Danish Army's existing M109A3 155mm self-propelled howitzer fleet.
Image: FMV director general Lena Erixon receiving Archer system from BAE Systems' Weapon Systems business managing director Lena Gillström in Karlskoga, Sweden. Photo: Bengt Björk.