The British Army is set to receive up to eight Archer 155mm artillery systems from Sweden to plug the gap caused by donating its AS90 guns to Ukraine.
The BAE Systems Bofors self-propelled guns will be drawn from the Swedish Army’s stock of 48 Archers based on the Volvo 6×6 all-terrain chassis, Shepherd Media revealed, citing sources.
The government-to-government procurement announcement will soon be issued.
Stockholm recently contracted BAE for 24 Archers based on the Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles HX-series 8×8 platform with a protected cab.
According to the outlet, the UK will buy modular charge systems for the artillery’s automatic ammunition handling system. The AS90 uses bag charges.
The Archer FH77 can strike targets up to 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) away, more than twice the AS90’s 25 kilometers (15.5 miles).
The development comes on the heels of UK Ministry of Defence Lt Gen Robert Andrew Magowan revealing last month that the AS90’s interim replacement would be provided within 12 months.
London has delivered 24 of its 80 to 90 remaining AS90s to Ukraine while the Vickers Shipbuilding platform’s long-term replacement, the Mobile Fires Platform program, is being finalized.
The program’s front runners are the Archer, Hanwha Defense’s K9 self-propelled tracked artillery system, Krauss Maffei Wegman’s RCH155 howitzer, and the Rheinmetall wheeled self-propelled howitzer.
It’s part of a broader artillery modernization effort, including upgrading and nearly doubling the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems fleet of 40.