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AUSA 2021: Archer completes US Army shoot-off evaluation
In analysing whether to add a wheeled capability to its arsenal, the US Army conducted a shoot-off evaluation with the BAE Systems 155mm Archer wheeled howitzer system.
The company announced on 11 October that the system successfully completed testing at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.
Archer is a fully automated mobile weapon system that provides highly responsive and versatile fire support to troops in combat. In the evaluation, it fired about 450 rounds, including bursts of six to 12 rounds, and up to as many as eight rounds per minute, during various tests under different conditions.
The shoot-off included charge compatibility with US Army rounds; soldier training and testing; mobility; performance against identified requirements; an assessment of the integrated digital fire control on Archer; and maintenance evaluation.
Archer can initiate fire within 30 seconds of receiving an order and depart in the same amount of time, according to BAE Systems.
Soldiers can operate and fire Archer while remaining in the armoured cabin through its fully automated fire and ammunition loading system. Its magazine carries 21 rounds and can fire all of them in less than three minutes.
According to Mark Signorelli, VP of business development at BAE Systems, Archer can operate effectively in high temperatures as well as in Arctic conditions.
He explained that the howitzer is already in service with the Swedish Army, and in the US Army tests it was operated at 50 degrees Celsius.
Signorelli stressed that Archer performed very well in demonstrating its unique capabilities as part of the shoot-off, adding that it is also a candidate for a 'number of international programmes’, such as the Mobile Fires Platform in the UK and the Swiss mobile howitzer competition.
Stefan Löfström, director for business development at BAE Systems Bofors, claimed that Archer is the most advanced wheeled artillery system in service today by offering 'a unique combination of firepower, survivability, mobility and flexibility'.
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