BAE Systems awarded $200 million artillery production contract
12:00 AM, March 27, 2010
BAE Systems has been awarded a £135 million ($200m) contract to commence series production of 48 Archer 155mm self-propelled artillery gun systems and their associated ammunition handling systems for the Swedish and Norwegian armed forces. The first operational systems are expected to be delivered in October 2011 and production will continue over the following two years. This production contract follows a £100m ($146m) development programme which began in 2003. Mike Smith, managing director of BAE Systems, Global Combat Systems Weapons said: “Archer is an important programme for the armed forces of both countries and for BAE Systems’ land business, as it is in a core area for us and will provide a springboard for future exports. We appreciate the effort and cooperation that the FMV and FLO – the national procurement agencies - have invested in ensuring the procurement of the most advanced and capable artillery system for the Swedish and Norwegian armies”. Archer is an advanced and automated artillery gun system in production, designed for rapid deployment and high mobility in the most demanding operational scenarios. The digital fire control system and automatic gun-laying capability allows a response to calls for fire within 30 seconds while the ordnance is securely stowed and ready for rapid redeployment within 30 seconds of the completion of a fire mission. The Archer system combines the proven firepower of the BAE Systems’ FH77 B05 52 calibre cannon with a modified Volvo commercial A30E 6x6 rugged articulated vehicle. The weapon provides an enhanced operational capability, delivering concentrated firepower with conventional munitions to a range of 40 km+ and to ranges up to 50km with advanced munitions while the crew of three remains fully protected in the armoured cab command module. The Archer system is based on well-proven sub-systems and can fire a full range of western standard munitions many of which have been developed entirely by BAE Systems or in conjunction with international partners, such as the BONUS projectile, dispensing precision targeting sub-munitions or the highly effective Excalibur precision guided round. The Archer production go-ahead follows another green light this week for a BAE Systems bi-national collaboration on an advanced weapon system. On Monday the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed that the Anglo-French CTA weapons system was mandated for the FRES SV and Warrior upgrade programmes.