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FH77BW L52 (Archer)

6x6 Wheeled Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA)

Sweden | 2016

"The Swedish Archer SPA vehicle mates the 155mm FH77 towed field howitzer with the 6x6 chassis of the Volvo A30D series truck."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/14/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Corruption at the government level in India during the 1980s and 1990s eventually ended hopes for exercising the purchase of forty-eight more Swedish FH77 "Haubits" 155mm towed howitzer weapons (FH77B export model) for the Army service. Instead, these units were rerouted back to the Swedish Army inventory who was already enjoying use of their original FH77A models in some number. The Swedish Army then elected to mount these weapons onto a Volvo A30D 6x6 heavy truck and this has since produced the "Archer Artillery System" - a wheeled Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA) platform.

Design work was had in 1995 and was influenced by the land-based, towed FH77 howitzer form (detailed elsewhere on this site). Development of the gun eventually went on to include neighboring Norway who held the promise of purchasing the new mobile weapons platform alongside their Scandinavian neighbors.

The Archer vehicle is powered by a Volvo diesel-fueled engine outputting 340 horsepower. Three axles are in play and each showcases large, rubber-tired roadwheels. There is 6x6 independent suspension offered for cross-country travel. Road speeds can reach up to 40 miles per hour and operational range is out to 310 miles.

The primary armament of the Archer is the 155mm /52 caliber FH77 field howitzer. This weapon is sat atop a trainable mounting that allows the system to operate independently of the vehicle - as such the gun can point in a direction different than what the truck is facing. A "Protector" Remote Weapon System (RWS) is afforded the crew for point-defense services. Aboard is a crew of four made up of a driver, commander and two gun operators.

Dimensions include an overall length of 46.2 feet, a width of 9.9 feet and a height of 12.10 feet. Weight is 66,000lb.

The vehicle is traditionally-arranged, meaning the engine component sits at the front of the driving cab where the forward axle is located (these forward wheels provide the turning capability to the truck component). The rear pair of axles is well-aft of midships and holds the weight of the gun section complete with its mounting base and recoil hardware. At the rear of the truck are recoil legs which are lowered prior to the firing of the gun. The RWS unit is fitted over the driving cab with an unobstructed view of the area surrounding the truck and operated by the crew from within the relative safety of the vehicle. The cab is armored against small arms fire and artillery spray. Fire Control (tracking, gun-laying and engagement) is assisted by a wholly digital computer system for excellent accuracy at range.

Pilot forms (prototypes) of the gun were available in 2004 (through two examples) and evaluation models were ordered by the Swedish Army in 2008. The service committed the following year and both Sweden and Norway initially contracted to acquiring twenty-four vehicles apiece (for a total of 48 units). Service entry into the Swedish Army ranks occurred in early 2016 though Norway ended up cancelling their share in a 2013 move against the project. Croatia was, at one point, a possible candidate for the Archer - electing to purchase the German PzH 2000 instead.

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January 2023 - Sweden has agreed to send a stock of Archer SPH units to Ukraine in support of the country's defense against the Russian invasion.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the FH77BW L52 (Archer) 6x6 Wheeled Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA).
1 x Diesel engine developing 340 horsepower driving conventional all-wheeled 6x6 arrangement.
Installed Power
40 mph
65 kph
Road Speed
311 miles
500 km
The physical qualities of the FH77BW L52 (Archer) 6x6 Wheeled Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA).
46.3 ft
14.1 meters
O/A Length
10.2 ft
3.1 meters
O/A Width
11.2 ft
3.4 meters
O/A Height
66,139 lb
30,000 kg | 33.1 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the FH77BW L52 (Archer) 6x6 Wheeled Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA).
1 x 155mm /52 caliber FH77 howitzer.
1 x 7.62mm machine gun in Remote Weapon System (RWS).
Not Available.
Nightvision - YES.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - YES.
Notable series variants as part of the FH77BW L52 (Archer) family line.
FH77BW L52 "Archer" - Base Series Designation.
Archer Artillery System (AAS) - Alternative Name.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the FH77BW L52 (Archer). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 24 Units

Contractor(s): Volvo - Sweden
National flag of Sweden National flag of Ukraine

[ Sweden; Ukraine (announced January 2023) ]
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Image of the FH77BW L52 (Archer)
Image released to the Public Domain by Wikipedia via user Ibaril.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The FH77BW L52 (Archer) 6x6 Wheeled Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA) appears in the following collections:
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