Archer Artillery System

BAE have delivered the first production Archer self-propelled 155mm artillery system to the Swedish Defence Material Administration after a long 20 yeardevelopment programme.

What are peoples thoughts on it?

Archer

It is modern, has all the sexy features like multiple round simultaneous round impact, low in personnel requirements, can operate completely under armour and I do like the use of a civilian articulated loader (Volvo) as the base vehicle, but on the other hand, it looks rather complex and not sure if the reloading system supports a very high sustained rate of fire. Wonder what the traverse and elevation limits are, and what barrel wear is like?

Seems like a good compromise between the fully tracked armoured self-propelled types and the currently trendy truck mounted systems?

Anyway, have a couple of nice videos…

 

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Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 9:49 pm

The Norwegians pulled out of the programme, they had their reasons, money wasn’t one of them.

Chris
Editor
Chris
September 30, 2015 10:14 pm

Its a big old thing; close to the size of the Oshkosh tanker, 40% longer than the MAN 8×8 recy truck and well over 3m tall to the top of the cab. We’d need longer trailers than HET pulls to carry one. AS90 is positively tiny in comparison – to put it in context the turret of Archer is pretty much the same size as AS90’s, which really shouldn’t be surprising.

as
as
September 30, 2015 11:42 pm

articulated loader supposable have one mobility problem that is side slopes.

as
as
October 1, 2015 1:56 am

http://www.baesystems.com/en/product/archer
the download at the side of the page gives a full spec list.

Obsvr
Obsvr
October 1, 2015 8:26 am

I’ve never ‘got it’ with regards Archer, my reaction is ‘wtf’, but would note that it is being produced for an army that hasn’t fought a war for a very long time.

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
October 1, 2015 8:43 am

Does the UK immediately need a wheeled 155 variant?

S O
S O
October 1, 2015 9:43 am

The Swedes have experience with the Bandkanon 120 mm SPG (or self-propelled cannon). I suppose this works well if they accept this into service after such a long development. They showed a willingness to use import vehicles in the past (ex-East German MT-LB and BMP, Leopard 2), the “NIH” syndrome isn’t strong in Sweden any more.

RCT(V)
RCT(V)
October 1, 2015 10:26 am

With regard to the automotive components – it is over-engineered, over-complicated, and therefore over-weight, and unnecessarily expensive.

Swedish Volvo have a sound reputation for articulated dump-trucks, where the articulated “joint” is used for steering the vehicle – useful in confined spaces, or if the vehicle were unusually long . . . like this Archer self-propelled 155mm artillery system.

The two parts of the articulated steered dump-trucks (and, this Archer artillery system), can also oscillate/rotate around a common centre-line, allowing better (than normal) articulation of the axles/bogies, on the two separate parts of the vehicle.

However, the decision to use articulated steering for the Archer, means there is an unnecessary additional length requirement – to accommodate the gun barrel on only one part of the articulated vehicle.

If the articulated steering were deleted (and, replaced by a conventional front axle with wheels that could be steered/turned), the driver/operator’s cab could be moved back some 4-5 metres, and the stowed gun barrel could then project forward to be level with the front bumper.

The saving in length – by shortening the front part of the vehicle – would mean that a conventional front axle with wheels that could be steered/turned, would provide sufficient manoeuvrability for a shorter vehicle.

Retaining the ability for the two parts of the vehicle to oscillate around a common centre-line, would still allow a better (than normal) articulation of the axles/bogies, on the two separate parts of the vehicle.

The centrally mounted, single driver’s cab, is an unnecessary affectation, dictating the unnecessary height of the vehicle, as the driver’s cab is required to sit above the engine/transmission. Either a single-man driver’s cab mounted to one side of the centrally stowed gun barrel, or two separate single-man cabs mounted either side of the stowed gun barrel, would be much lower.

Two separate single-man cabs (mounted either side of the stowed gun barrel), would allow an artilleryman “gunner” to carried, rather than expecting a single person to do all the work – driving and firing – 24/7 !!

mikeS
mikeS
October 1, 2015 10:29 am

Most modern armies need highly mobile artillery delivering as much HE as possible, terrain and means of delivery to the battlefield is the limiting factor. Surely the armoured tracked self propelled 155mm system is the most effective way of achieving this, why would anybody opt for Archer over PZH200/ AS90/ M!09 type equipment? Of course difficult terrain or the need air mobility requires for 105mm and 155mm towed howitzers as well in limited numbers.The Swedes do seem to come up with some odd solutions, eg. Stridsvagn 103 and Bandkanon 1.

mikeS
mikeS
October 1, 2015 10:50 am
Reply to  S O

It was 155mm not 120mm

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 1, 2015 11:18 am

If anyone has ever looked at Sweden on the map, it is a rather big place. The whole of artillery consisting of one rgmnt (24guns) if put onto a tracked platform would leave it totally irrelevant as it would never get to the scene in time.

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 1, 2015 11:57 am

I suppose that you already know, the French army has this, which is close to the subject.

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 1, 2015 12:19 pm

I found this, sorry about the double post.

Monty
October 1, 2015 12:26 pm

Archer, Caesar and PzH2000 are the probably future of towed artillery systems. They cost a fraction of tracked systems, but have much better strategic and operational mobility. We will need something like this to keep pace with our Medium Wheeled formations.

Another solution could be to mount a 155 mm gun on a flatbed 8×8 platform, similar to what KMW has done with the Boxer. A third solution is to use a 120 mm mortar mounted on a n 8×8 (Patria Nemo).

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 1, 2015 1:11 pm

Hello Monty, I don’t know if the Caesar is the future of towed artillery systems, but there has been an interest on the part of the British Army, some time ago for Caesar, I don’t know if there are ongoing discussions.

http://www.army-technology.com/news/newsbritish-troops-to-train-on-french-caesar-artillery-system-4300617

Vince
Vince
October 1, 2015 2:13 pm

The problem with the Archer is that it is tailored to Swedish requirements. It requires an A400 or larger for air transport while the Caesar can be lifted in a C-130.

DAVID PEDDLE
DAVID PEDDLE
October 1, 2015 2:21 pm

The South African G6-52 was originally developed with 23 and 25 liter chambers, however marketing is now concentrated on the 23 liter chamber, which meets the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding. This artillery system comes with a modular charge system and is compatible with a Denel developed V-LAP rocket assisted projectiles, as well as standard NATO 155-mm ammunition. The G6-52 has a range of 58 km with V-LAP projectile. When firing a high-explosive extended-range full bore projectile maximum range is 33 km. The G6-52 is capable of multiple round simultaneous impact firing. It can fire 5 rounds at 25 km range to hit target simultaneously.

Vehicle is fitted with modern fire control system. The G6-52 has automatic gun laying and navigating systems. It can stop and fire its first round in 60 seconds from traveling. It also takes 30 seconds to leave firing position after firing, making it less vulnerable to counter-battery fire. The vehicle can travel 700 km at max speed of 80 kph. A better gun to my mind!

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 1, 2015 2:58 pm
Frenchie
Frenchie
October 1, 2015 3:33 pm

One Caesar costs around 4 million euro. I don’t know if it is better than this.

Bob Epoch
Bob Epoch
October 1, 2015 4:14 pm

Nice and easy to hide. Almost as if it had been designed to be disguised as something else. . .

MSR
MSR
October 1, 2015 5:20 pm
Reply to  Frenchie

At 0:56 the top video shows in post number 14 shows a Caesar being loaded onto an aircraft with the gun barrel protruding through the windscreen of the cab (the glass having been removed). I presume the gun had to be demounted to do this. Is that an easy process?

Obsvr
Obsvr
October 2, 2015 8:05 am

Back on planet earth it would be interesting to know when arty was unable to keep up. The notion of armour or whatever relentlessly moving forward without pause in best described as tactical BS.

Autonomous guns come into action in about 30 secs, even in days of yore and all the armies still using the ‘old ways’ of artillery a competent bty (like the ones I have run) were ‘ready in about 3 minutes. Of there are then the very ponderous armies (I won’t name names)!

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
October 2, 2015 9:15 am

The Archer looks too long in the same way the Boxer AGM looks too high.

I suppose you could combine the two to make something a little more tidy. A remotely operated 155mm hanging off the back of a Boxer chassis with the operators in a small cabin behind the driver. Barrel length would be an obvious issue but, you could perhaps lessen that by having the gun module sit quite high during transport to get the barrel as horizontal as possible.

JamesF
October 2, 2015 9:24 am

Got to be M777 to replace light gun. We need somthing that can be lifted by Chinook as well as transported by A400, and provide interoperability with US (and is a British export success). AS90 and MLRS OSDs could be harmonised around a new system – but might be worth at least thinking about skipping a generation, while doing a LEP for both in the interim.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 2, 2015 10:03 am

JF, yep.

BAE still manufactures the turret designed for the Braveheart update (which was not adopted). The fact that it is made in Poland and the Poles decided to put a Nexter gun into it is neither here or there; the fact remains that it was designed for AS90.
“Construction commenced with an order for 179 units which were completed by 1996. In the meantime VSEL became part of BAe Systems and upgrades to firing systems, air filtration, mechanical upgrades and a change in the gun barrel length to 52 calibres came about based on experience and a change in requirements.”

Obsvr
Obsvr
October 3, 2015 2:06 am

@ Monty
Ahem, PzH2000 is a fully tracked SP (this means it does not have pneumatic tyred wheels), it is also heavier than most if not all other 155/2mm SPs, but IIRC does carry the largest on-board ammo load. Interestingly in Afg the NL had to keep their’s in sheds and drive them out when a fire mission was called, and it seems barrel memory was a significant issue. UK (etc) did not have such problems in Iraq. There is some evidence to suggest that barrel memory is a bit of an issue for 52 cal barrels.