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First combat deployment of Archer self-propelled howitzer in Ukraine

The Archer self-propelled howitzer system, recently acquired by Ukraine, has been used for the first time in combat in the current conflict with Russia. The Swedish Defense Minister, Pål Jonson, announced on November 3, 2023, that eight Archer systems had been delivered to Ukraine, a fact revealed by the Swedish news agency SVT.
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Footage of the Archer self-propelled howitzer on the frontline in Ukraine (Picture source: 2S7 Pion)

The Ukrainian armed forces showcased the deployment of the Archer systems in a video released by the Land Forces Command. The 45th separate artillery brigade is operating the Archer systems, but they had not yet been seen in action. This changed on December 7, 2023, when the Swedish TV channel SVT shared the first images of the Archer in combat. This deployment marks the first use of the Archer system on the front lines, providing Ukraine with a unique opportunity to assess its capabilities in real-world conditions.

The Archer, a self-propelled howitzer system developed by Sweden, stands out for its advanced capabilities and sophisticated design. It is equipped with a 155 mm cannon and can accommodate either a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun. Designed to offer optimal protection to its crew, the Archer's armored cab effectively defends against small arms fire and shell splinters on the battlefield.

This system weighs 30,000 kg. Despite its significant weight, the Archer can reach a speed of 70 km/h, a major asset for rapid maneuvers and repositioning on the battlefield. This agility is crucial for its ability to provide rapid and accurate artillery support while avoiding becoming an easy target for the enemy.

The Archer is designed with a range of advanced accessories and systems that enhance its effectiveness and safety. It is equipped with a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) protection system, as well as a night/day driving vision system. Its computerized firing system allows for increased accuracy when engaging targets. These advanced technological features are a testament to the sophisticated design of the Archer and its role as a strategic tool in modern military operations.

The Swedish vehicle is operated by a crew of three people. With dimensions of 14.1 meters in length, 3 meters in width, and 4 meters in height, the Archer is an artillery system designed to maximize both firepower and mobility. This system is currently used by Sweden, Finland, and now Ukraine, reflecting its recognition and adoption by several armed forces in Europe. Its operational range varies between 400 and 500 km, allowing it to cover vast areas and be effectively deployed across various terrains.

The Archer represents a remarkable combination of firepower, protection, mobility, and advanced technology. Its use in Ukraine marks a significant milestone in the evolution of modern artillery, offering Ukraine the chance to test this vehicle in real-world conditions for the first time.


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