The first BAE Systems Bofors ARCHER artillery system has been transferred to the British Army.

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) will transfer a total of 14 ARCHER 6x6s to the British Army.

The MoD selected the BAE Systems Bofors ARCHER 155mm self-propelled artillery system as an interim solution to replace the UK’s AS90 howitzers gifted to Ukraine.

Earlier this month, BAE Systems took the UK ARCHER vehicles through a successful firing trial programme, before the official transfer of the first system.

The ARCHER 6×6 is on display at DSEi – located at the BAE Systems stand in the North Hall (H3-110) from 12-15 September.

ARCHER can fire six rounds, displace, and move 500 m in less than 2 minutes, while the crew remains in an armored cabin. Fires both conventional artillery ammunition as well as BONUS Anti-armor and Excalibur Precision Guided Munition.
ARCHER is in operational use, and was fielded to the Swedish Army 2016 on a 6×6 VOLVO articulated hauler chassis.
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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_753627)
9 months ago

Only 14? We have given Ukraine at least 30 X 155mm AS-90s and 54 X 105mm L118/L119s. Whilst Archer is an outstanding system, 14 is not enough

I was hoping that there would be an announcement about the S Korean K9 system at DSEi. Preferably that agreement had been reached and a UK factory will be build to produce them. Soon.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_753639)
9 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

There’s also the Archer on a MAN 8*8 as well as the tracked K9 on offer. Let’s hope for good numbers either way or both if a mixed fleet.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753653)
9 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Hi David.
What is your source for 54 British Army L119s being given?

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_753664)
9 months ago

Hi Dan, from memory some of the L118/119s given to Ukraine, came from other Countries, that we collected then sent them as a job lot.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753669)
9 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

As I thought, not all ours. We’d have cleared out the AR Regs with that amount.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_753699)
9 months ago

Hi Danielle – wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_military_aid_to_Ukraine_during_the_Russo-Ukrainian_War

The link has a surprisingly large list of equipment of all sorts, including
20+ 155mm M109A4BEs bought from OIP Land Systems in Belgium

Dern
Dern (@guest_753768)
9 months ago

Hey Daniele, (and everyone else) are you not getting email notifications for replies to your posts? I know I am not.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753794)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dern

No, I’m not mate. So it is not just me. I was going to email upstairs about this later. Sorry if I have missed anyone’s posts.

Dern
Dern (@guest_753808)
9 months ago

I’ve already msg’ed George about it, and we’ve been trying to test it on the other thread, but the more info and contacts they get probably the better.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753811)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes, I’ve emailed.

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_753661)
9 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

As stated these are an interim and “off the shelf” solution. They are basically what Sweden had in reserve, that hadn’t yet been earmarked for Ukraine. To get any more, new systems will need to be built! Hopefully if we do go down that route, then they use the MAN HX 8×8 chassis.

Interesting to note that Oryx have recently listed an AS90 as destroyed.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_753708)
9 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Ah, sad to hear that and I hope the crew are OK. But it does mean that the UkR still has 29 in the fight

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_753680)
9 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

“If you want peace, prepare for war”

Yet we have blindly, recklessy & foolishly devestated our armed forces for decades in the face of rising threats & Russian/CCP hostility & neo colonial ambitions. Freedom survives through deterrents, not more weakness. If you spend more but deliver less military muscle, there’s something woefully wrong with your govenment.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_753685)
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Won’t argue with that 👍

Dern
Dern (@guest_753770)
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

I like to ponder, whenever “Si vis pacem, para bellum” is mentioned, that Vegetius might have noticed that Rome might have “praeparaverunt bellum” a lot, he didn’t seem to notice that it didn’t get a lot of the pacem they had desideraverant

Igitur quī dēsīderat pācem, praeparet bellum.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_754509)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Hang on while I go get Geoffrey Chaucer to translate that, I only went to a Secondary Modern where English was a push.

Dern
Dern (@guest_754517)
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Igitur qui desiderat pacem, preparet bellum is the original Vegetius quote, “Therefore let him who desires peace be prepared for war.” Is the usual translation in English. It typically gets shortened to “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” Or “If you want peace, [go] for war.”

I was just reflecting that for someone who professionally studied Rome, Vegetius seemed not to notice they prepared to make a lot of war, but got very little peace (I’ve seen it argued that Rome “defended itself into an Empire.” Which I think is a stretch.)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_753687)
9 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Perhaps the Swedes only had Qty 14 in their second-hand ‘market’.

Last day of DSEi today – maybe there is still a little time to make a K9 announcement – or will Grant Shapps make a K9 announcement timed to deflect from the next bit of bad Defence news.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_753755)
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Is aS90 replacement actually funded or on the wish list? I don’t think it’s urgent as there was AS90s not being used and now archer has come.
I think AS90 replacement wasn’t coming until end of the decade

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753801)
9 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I believe it has been funded for some time, and is being accelerated.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_753980)
9 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

AS90s have of course been used in combat during their service life, just not that recently. Does not mean the Requirement for their replacement evaporates. MoD issued Key User Requirements (KUR) for Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) on 27/1/20, following their receipt of a RFI from Industry. For a 155mm weapon with 52 cal barrel. https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/uk-releases-mobile-fires-platform-key-user-requirements Think that means it was funded. Replacement is reasonably urgent as AS90 has been in service for over 30 years, and its replacement will take several years to be procured and come into service. We have only received 14 Archers – they are an interim… Read more »

Duker
Duker (@guest_754206)
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Is there a 105mm version of this sort highly mobile automated artillery ?

Graham M
Graham M (@guest_755601)
8 months ago
Reply to  Duker

Hi mate, sorry for slow reply. Been on hols to France. I don’t know of a 105mm truck-mounted artillery system. Perhaps the French Caesar kicked off the concept aeons ago – that was/is 155m. Glad we have some Archer, seemingly about 14 as a part-replacement for the 30-ish AS90 gifted to UKR, and seen as an interim until MFS is delivered. Hope we get some more Archer and a tracked SPG (everyone talks about it being possible the Korean K9 Thunder). At some stage (soon) we will need a replacement for the 105mm towed Light Gun – its ancient now,… Read more »

Matthew Mac Donald
Matthew Mac Donald (@guest_753628)
9 months ago

We will hardly ever use them to their potential, it will all be crap fireplans as before and no shoot and skoot on call fires, be still using FOOs and be behind the times. Token gesture imo, take one look at Poland and Romanians spending.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith (@guest_753629)
9 months ago

6×6….? The header photo shows an 8 wheel vehicle…..

JamesF
JamesF (@guest_753640)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jason Smith

The version transferred from Sweden is on a 6×6 articulated Volvo chassis (a high mobility logging truck) https://mezha.media/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Archer_07.jpg

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_753689)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jason Smith

George can’t always get the exactly correct photo released apparently.

JK
JK (@guest_753631)
9 months ago

Is 14 all we’re going to get? I don’t understand what the point in having 14 is. Surely we should focus on getting a couple of hundred platforms from somewhere else.

JamesF
JamesF (@guest_753641)
9 months ago
Reply to  JK

Sweden only has 24. 24 were built for Norway but Norway cancelled in favour of K9. I believe the UK 14 is taken from this ex-Norwegian production while the other 10 went to Ukraine. Short-term they were available to equip the battalion level battlegroup in Estonia. The follow-on will require new production.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_753757)
9 months ago
Reply to  JamesF

It makes sense for them to be in the Baltic’s. Close to Sweden for help, spares. On the front line of U.K. deployed forces.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_753688)
9 months ago
Reply to  JK

I don’t think we’ll get a couple of hundred JK that is wishful thinking 🤔

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_753690)
9 months ago
Reply to  JK

Couple of hundred? That may have happened in the 50s and 60s. We bought 179 AS90s back in the day – that was considered a very large order at the time.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753804)
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

To be fair, I’d be delighted with 60.

Duker
Duker (@guest_754203)
9 months ago

Ideal weapon system for reserves, so maybe a 50 50 split ?

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_753632)
9 months ago

This is all blasted politics the RA needs three times the number planned. Some suggest this system is a temporary fix before the true AS90 replacement is fixed. Sadly, we all know such plans fail to manifest, just more dithering, half measures and time-wasting for UK artillery.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753657)
9 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

It is.

farouk
farouk (@guest_753647)
9 months ago

For those questioning the numbers on order the answer can be found in the following statement from above: “”The MoD selected the BAE Systems Bofors ARCHER 155mm self-propelled artillery system as an interim solution to replace the UK’s AS90 howitzers gifted to Ukraine.”” Interim been the time span to cover until the Mobile Fires Platform Programme is selected (and comes on line) a program that the previous Defence Secretary Ben Wallace brought forward earlier this year when he announced to the House of Commons on the 16th January that he is accelerating the British Army’s Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) programme,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753652)
9 months ago

Just to balance all the comments already at this being all we are getting, we’re all doomed, and the sky is falling in. This is an INTERIM platform until FMF is selected, to replace, as quickly as is realistically possible, some of the AS90 sent to Ukraine. There are 2 Regiments that will need new artillery, 1 RA and 19 RA. They should have 3 Batteries each of 8 guns, so 24 to a Regiment. They support 12 and 20 ABCT. Hopefully, a 3rd Regiment, 4RA, which supports 7 LMBCT, will also receive new guns to replace its Light Guns.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753655)
9 months ago

Correction, 1 RA is of course 1 RHA.

Jim
Jim (@guest_753665)
9 months ago

Agree, actually picking up 14 spare archers seems like an amazingly good boost for an interim solution. They are significantly better than the AS90 they are replacing and gives the British army a useful interim solution that offers the range the AS90 can’t plus it’s lets us try a wheeled 155mm platform before we have to bight the bullet on long term order and all from a British defence contractor. 85 MLRS especially when equipped with Precison Strike Missile and new extended range GMLRS is enough to f**k up anything the rapists could ever field 100 miles before anyone gets… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_753666)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Sorry forgot “we are all doomed” 😀

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753674)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

🙄 I’m sure it is getting worse….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753671)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, I see you’re up to speed with this. Bravo. Indeed, That GMLRS force, with those munitions, is serious capability.

DP
DP (@guest_753679)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Hi Jim, so in addition to FMF we are getting 85 MLRS? That sounds like a pretty descent figure? How many did/do we have of the earlier model?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753681)
9 months ago
Reply to  DP

Future Soldier planned 35.
The planned 85 are 75 launchers and 10 recovery vehicles.
There are currently 2 Regiments, 26RA and 3 RA, each of 2 Batteries, with another 2 from 101 RA, the reserves. So 6 currently.
Word is this might expand to 10 Batteries.
See the Army Deep Fires program for details.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_753694)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

‘Smaller but more lethal’! That is a phrase a politician might use! Could be true in the case of arty (or ‘fires’ as the Americans tell us we must now say).

Jim
Jim (@guest_753700)
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We never deployed more than a division sized force since Malaya. I much rather have smaller forces with way more firepower than a bunch of infantry battalions with limited offensive capabilities.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_753982)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, you have your wish. Our army is the smallest it has been since Waterloo! It could not deploy more than a division if it wanted to.

We will be getting improvements to artillery systems (but in what quantity?) but in other regards it is hard to see where we would be getting way more firepower, especially for the Infantry.

Infantry firepower will diminish if the AI lose their 4 x cannons per Platoon. Pretty poor that we have not got 120mm mortars yet.

Nick C
Nick C (@guest_753759)
9 months ago

There was an announcement at DSEI, reported yesterday, that Sweden has ordered 48 Archer systems from Bofors/Bae, at a cost of $500m. I’m not sure how much the FMF programme is suggested to cost, but they seems a pretty cost effective contract.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753761)
9 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

That sounds good, doesn’t it. We would need more of course, accounting for reserves, and the training org with 14RA at Larkhill.

I don’t know enough about either to have a preference for K9 or Archer, as long as they are ordered and in the number required. Home build is of course desirable.

James Fennell
James Fennell (@guest_754080)
9 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

The budget for FMFs was 800 million in 2021 DCP.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_753656)
9 months ago

Not so.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_753691)
9 months ago

Britani Jundi?
Nothing light about our AFVs!

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_753693)
9 months ago

Always been a fan of Archer platform ,thinks it’s one of the best out there at the moment 🇬🇧

Sronnambo
Sronnambo (@guest_753732)
9 months ago

Hope ammunition is included, lots of it, but where will it come from?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_754172)
9 months ago
Reply to  Sronnambo

The UK.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_753740)
9 months ago

This is a really brilliant opportunity for the army to test a wheeled high mobility precision fires option..before it procures the long term replacement for AS90 in large numbers and at great expense ..using an off the self nearly new package of a limited number..good procurement all round. Just need to get on with the main procurement so the army can buy the fires it needs and ship off all the AS90s to Ukraine.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_753758)
9 months ago

Try moving battle ready challenger, boxer, Ajax, aS90. Getting close to 200t for 4 vehicles.

Jonny
Jonny (@guest_753765)
9 months ago

What are the pros and cons of a 6×6 Vs 8×8 chassis for the archer?

Dern
Dern (@guest_753771)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

Pros: It exists.
Cons: It’s not as good as the 8×8.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_753859)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Which version is for our Army 6×6 or 8×8 ?

Dern
Dern (@guest_754579)
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

6×6 for now, hence my jab about the pro’s being “It exists.” (Although “It’s available” might have been more accurate).

Last edited 9 months ago by Dern
James Fennell
James Fennell (@guest_754081)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

A good question. The Volvo 6×6 articulated platform was deisgn for logging in Scandinavian forrests and is also used for a heavy tipper for mining and construction works – it has real offroad pedigree. The MAN 8×8 platform is a military truck compatable with those already in UK service. I knida like the Volvo (and Volvo-DAF have a large production footprint in UK).

Paul
Paul (@guest_753821)
9 months ago

Don’t worry, we have a robust Foreign Office.😉👍🏽

Fraser Blackman
Fraser Blackman (@guest_812940)
1 month ago

Could we go for Caesar’s, the French just put in a contract for around 100 at around 300 million. Unit cost seems really low, so not sure about the figure. Would be the easiest to put into production, we would need our own factory. French proction is maxed out. Notable draw backs to the design but it’s simplicity seems to lend itself to easier mass production.