Swedish Archer wheeled self-propelled artillery systems will finally be transferred to Ukraine. These self-propelled guns have been the subject of negotiations for more than six months.
But now these self-propelled artillery systems will eventually go to Ukraine: the changes are indicated in the government budget amendments and the transfer of 8 Archers and 10 Strv 122 tanks (the Leopard 2A5 versions) is outlined. The Minister of Defense of Sweden, Paul Johnson, announced that, as Dagens Industri reports.
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At the same time, there are certain time limits when Ukraine’ military will start using Archer on the front lines. In particular, it is necessary to feed the SPG units, create a logistics hub near the border of Ukraine and install Archer on-board computers (and most likely replace the automated control system with an export version).
And in this way, these Swedish self-propelled guns will be ready for battle in just a few months. Also, not all eight of them will be on the front line, two more should be in reserve.
Regarding the on-board computer, Sweden currently has 48 Archers, but only half of them are in service. 24 self-propelled guns are in storage, and perhaps part of the equipment was dismantled from them. These 24 units will be distributed between Ukraine and Great Britain, which had ordered them and the rest will be used to keep improving the system.
As for the Leopard 2A5, the terms are not mentioned. The tanks already have a new fire control system, including a commander's panorama, the replacement of hydraulic drives with electric ones and a characteristic additional reservation, and these components do not differ from the Leopard 2A6, which also received a new longer gun.
And when it comes to the Archer's features, Sweden once again emphasized that it is a self-propelled gun for specific tasks. As the Minister of Defense noted:"A sniper rifle, not a shotgun." The fact is that this is simply an ideal artillery system for conducting high-precision artillery fire and counter-battery combat.
Firstly, the range of fire is up to 50-60 km with high-precision ammunition. Secondly, the Archer has an extremely high rate of fire and fires 21 rounds in 3.5 minutes in fully automatic mode. At the same time, opening fire and folding takes only 23-24 seconds, and all processes are automated, including loading and targeting.
But all the ammunition that the Swedish self-propelled guns have are the 21 rounds. And after that, the unit should go to recharge. That is, it is ideally suited for the conditions of counter-battery combat, but not for methodically shelling the enemy from a stationary position.
At the same time, formally, the decision on the transfer has yet to be approved by the parliament, but there are unlikely to be any problems with this. In particular, Sweden's coalition government has a majority in parliament, and the delay in the transfer of Archer to Ukraine has been criticized by the opposition.
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