The Swedish defense procurement agency FMV and BAE Systems Bofors have signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the purchase of additional Archer 155mm mobile howitzers for the Swedish Army.
The two sides signed the document at the Eurosatory trade show in Paris, where BAE is showcasing the system to international customers.
The LOI represents the first step towards Sweden’s establishment of an additional artillery battalion, which is in line with the country’s defense strategy plan spanning between 2021 and 2025.
Sweden is the launch customer for the howitzer, having received the last of an initial 48 vehicles recently.
The howitzer was also downselected as one of two contenders in the Swiss program to buy a future artillery system.
The Archer, which is typically operated by a crew of three to four soldiers but can be operated by only one, was also evaluated by the US Army.
Operators control the entire gun system from the safety of the vehicle’s armored cabin. BAE says the Archer can fire six rounds, displace, and move 500 meters, in less than two minutes, all while the crew remains in the armored cabin.
The howitzer can also fire the Bonus anti-armor munition up to 35km, conventional munitions up to 40km, and the precision-guided munition Excalibur in excess of 50km.
Mounted on a Volvo dumper, the Archer system has an operational range of 500km, with the automated magazine capable of carrying 21 rounds. The Archer also has a Kongsberg Protector remote-controlled weapon station for close in defense.