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DSEI 2023: Sweden orders 48 more Archer SPHs as it delivers others to UK

Sweden has ordered 48 Archer 8Γ—8 SPHs (pictured at Eurosatory 2022). (Janes/Nicholas Fiorenza)

Sweden ordered 48 Archer 8Γ—8 self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) as it delivered the first of 14 6Γ—6 versions of the SPH to the UK. The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) said on its website on 13 September that the contract was worth SEK5 billion (USD446.63 million) and the first Archer would be delivered in 2025. Reuters reported that the contract was finalised at the DSEI 2023 defence exhibition held in London from 12 to 15 September.

The Archers will be mounted on Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) trucks.

The FMV explained the procurement as being partly to replace the Archer 6Γ—6 SPHs Sweden sold to the UK for donation to Ukraine and partly to develop Swedish artillery capabilities in accordance with the Nordic country's Total Defence 2021–2025 bill approved in 2020.

The first of 14 Archer 6Γ—6 SPHs was handed over to the UK after work was completed on it and test firing, the FMV announced on its website on 14 September. The UK signed a contract with the FMV in March for 14 Archer SPHs, training, and an initial ammunition package, allowing London to donate AS90 SPHs to Ukraine. A BAE Systems spokesperson sent an email to Janes on 15 September with a photo of the handover ceremony at DSEI, where an Archer 6Γ—6 was displayed at the company's stand.

Liam Widdrington, BAE Systems' head of business development for the UK, Europe, and India, told journalists at DSEI on 12 September that the Archers would be in service with the British Army in 2024 and that eight Archers would be donated to Ukraine β€œsoon”.

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