BAE Systems has announced its proposal of the Archer howitzer in response to the US Army’s request for proposals for a 155 mm wheeled gun system evaluation.
The company said it is offering the Archer for participation in the Army’s plans to conduct a “shoot off” evaluation early next year at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The Army’s RFP, released on July 30, looks to evaluate mobile howitzers in support of future Army requirements.
The service expects to award contracts for the evaluation by the first quarter of fiscal year 2021.
The fully automated Archer is already in service with the Swedish Army. The weapon system is typically operated by a crew of three to four soldiers but can be operated by only one.
“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,” said Chris King, director of business development at BAE Systems.
“The cab protection, fast shoot and scoot times and its extended range all enhance survivability and sustain fire support in harsh combat conditions.”
The system can fire within 30 seconds of receiving an order. It can then depart its firing position within 30 seconds, minimizing the enemy’s ability to effectively return fire. Its magazine carries 21 rounds and can unload all of them in less than three minutes. It can also fire the BONUS anti-armor munition up to 35 km, conventional munitions up to 40 km, and currently fielded precision-guided munitions like Excalibur in excess of 50 km. BONUS and Excalibur are currently in the US Army’s inventory.
The Archer is manufactured by BAE Systems Bofors, which is based in Karlskoga, Sweden.