BAE Systems has proposed its ARCHER howitzer in response to the U.S. Army’s request for proposals for a 155 mm wheeled gun system.

BAE Systems say it is offering ARCHER for participation in the U.S. Army’s plans to conduct a “shoot off” evaluation early next year at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

The RFP, released on July 30th, looks to evaluate mobile howitzers in support of future Army requirements. ARCHER is already in service with the Swedish Army with the highest technical and manufacturing readiness levels.

“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.

“With a fully automated system, soldiers can execute their mission with minimal physical exertion and time, while remaining undercover in the armored cabin. The cab protection, fast shoot and scoot times and its extended range all enhance survivability and sustain fire support in harsh combat conditions.”

BAE say that ARCHER brings a “single, fielded package of capabilities that would provide U.S. soldiers with responsiveness and flexibility that far exceed current capabilities”.

ARCHER is typically operated by a crew of three to four soldiers but can be operated by only one.

“ARCHER 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. ARCHER can 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 U.S. Army’s inventory.”

ARCHER is manufactured by BAE Systems Bofors, which is based in Karlskoga, Sweden.

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Surely this is such an easy choice for our strike brigades? Instead we will dither on requirements and opt for some bespoke option. The boxer variant looks too expensive imo, 50-60 of these plus a smaller number of tracked for the heavy regiment if it survives. Then all we need more skysabre, HIMARS, mortars etc etc… some way until we have a competent brigade or two!


Yeah I think mounting on boxer is too expensive I would rather we ordered more units on the archer chasis with the limited budget we have.
Mounting Nomos on a boxer module or whatever 6×6 MRV option gets selected will also be a big plus. Hopefully the army receives them before 2030 😂


I don’t see why mounting the weapon system as part of a Boxer module would be overly expensive. It would certainly be a lot cheaper than the Pz2000 SPG option. It would also mean that a Boxer SPG with Archer could fit inside a A400M and a C17, unlike the PZ2000 version. The costs of the gun should be low as it uses the FH77 that is in widespread use, same with the rounds it uses. The integration within a dedicated module would be I think more doable now, especially with the tie up between BAe and Rheinmetall. There would… Read more »


I agree with all of the above, although I wonder if the 58 calibrre barrel may get in the way of carriage on the A400?
Another advantage with using a Boxer module is that we have a domestic stake in the product now, which is always nice.


Yes, it could if they designed it wrong, i.e so that the barrel sits at angle over the driver’s section, like the Caesar SPG. The Archer hides the gun when travelling. It cleverly shortens the gun’s length by removing the hydraulic fluid in the return dampers. Then parks the barrel inside a container along the trailer section of the Volvo 6×6 vehicle. The issue with fitting it to Boxer would be that the barrel would be still too long in the travel mode, to fit in a travelling compartment behind the drivers section. It would have to be stowed above… Read more »


Coool, thanks for clarifying. Just a bit of careful design then- hopefully someone will remember to put the requirement in the specification from the beginning….

Glass Half Full

What advantages do you see for Archer on Boxer over the already developed MAN 8×8 based option? I would be concerned over another project that seems like it should be straightforward, and yet may end up taking longer and costing significantly more than an off the shelf solution that’s already compatible with the rest of our fleet.


Purely protection and mobility. The MAN truck is capable off-road, but nowhere near as capable as a Boxer. It would be the same for protection. The truck has no protection against IEDs/mines, whilst the Boxer has been designed from the start to protect the crew from these threats. The Boxer would also provide better protection against counter-battery fire. At the state that the artillery is in currently, I would rather they got something sooner rather than later. The MAN equipped Archer looks like a cheap and quick solution. But I would prefer they got Boxer equipped Archer, even if that… Read more »

Glass Half Full

Thanks for the explanation. I suspect the cost difference between a base Boxer and a base HX77 is going to be quite significant, before we get into designing a module to handle the recoil. The Boxer might also need an engine upgrade like the RCH 155 has. I wonder how much of the Boxer mobility will be retained once loaded down with the gun and ammunition, particularly if the weight is high up on the vehicle. The protection is always the difficult trade off versus cost and weight. If used as designed they should avoid counter battery fire but will… Read more »


The Boxer mounting the Pz2000 turret has the uprated engine. It is the same one Australia and the Uk will be getting.

It will probably all come down to cost rather than capability, especially in the current financial climate.

Harry Bulpit

These vehicles would not only be ideal for strike brigade but could also act as a replacement for the AS90 with the limited budget available.


I think they will replace the AS90 which is a shame, the UK really lacks artillery.

David Barry

Teaching STANAG 6001 in Slovakia 1999… Lt/Col “Why do you still use tracks? Wheeled SP aka Dana is much more mobile and is able to shoot and scoot…

4th watch

And track marks stand out like a sore thumb.


Besides with increased ammunition range there is even less necessary to go deeply off road.


By the time the AS90 goes out of service in the 2040s (!) there will be new options available. I still want to see electromagnetic rail guns being developed or more importantly the power generation for them.

peter wait

78 mega watts is a lot of juice to generate for a rail gun, still in the development stage as problems with increasing gun life etc.


If it were me, I would go for the wheels archer so we don’t get drawn into a costly redesign, and can actually increase numbers for once. If we have spare warriors or the current upgrade gets scrapped, I would also see this as a potential low cost base platform for MBDA to add their simple box launchers for brimstone and spear 3. This combo would be a gamechanger for the amount of firepower we could bring to bear and range. Both lower cost and effective.


The box launched Brimstone/Spear 3 would be a massive fire power upgrade for the Army. Not only replacing the old tracked Striker in the anti-tank role, but also giving it a precision long range strike capability to compliment MLRS etc. Even if it was fitted to a MAN truck it would be a game changer. Preferably I’d like to see it mounted on Boxer and perhaps an ARES chassis, so each element has its own long range missile support. It would be especially useful if some of the Spear-3s were the EW version. So it support a strike package or… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by DaveyB