Britain’s Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday that British Army will receive modern artillery platforms to replace those supplied to Ukraine.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Defense, Army to replace the AS90 self-propelled howitzers gifted to Ukraine with new ‘Archer’ heavy artillery guns.
“The first 14 Archer artillery systems will have ownership transferred to the British Army this month and be fully operational by next April, forming an interim replacement for the 32 AS90 artillery systems the UK gifted to the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the news release says.
Designed and built by BAE Systems Bofors in Sweden, Archer has double the maximum range of AS90, greater operational mobility, greater availability and reduced time into action. Operated by 3-4 crew, it has a lower requirement for personnel than the AS90’s five, and benefits from a higher top speed of 70kph compared to the current 53kph.
Archer 6×6 boasts a fully automated, self-propelled 155mm howitzer gun designed for rapid deployment, with a firing range of 50km using extended-range ammunition – a doubling of the AS90’s 25km range. For a sense of distance, the AS90 could fire from Central London to the M25, whereas Archer is capable of reaching the distance of Sandhurst in Berkshire.
Loading and firing of Archer is handled from inside the armored cabin, with the unit able to be deployed into action in just 20 seconds and is ready to move after firing in the same amount of time.
Archer can fire a number of types of 155mm artillery ammunition, including extended-range and precision anti-armor shells. It can also fire eight rounds a minute and four rounds in a simultaneous impact-mode, meaning several shells are fired in succession with different trajectories so they hit the same target at the same time.