Presented at the end of the 90s as an alternative to Nexter's Caesar self-propelled gun, BAe's Archer self-propelled gun did not have the hoped-for success. Initially selected by Norway, which was to acquire 24 examples, the contract was quickly canceled when the Norwegian military was able to test the system, which they considered too heavy and lacking mobility. In the end, the only customer for this system will remain Sweden, which also supplied the Volvo chassis for the gun.
On the occasion of the DSEI 2019 exhibition, which is being held near London, BAe is presenting its new Archer model , very inspired it seems by the arguments which have made the Caesar successful in recent years, in particular the capacity " Hit and Fade", allowing a rapid activation followed by an equally rapid fire, and a departure occurring before a counter-battery fire or a riposte can intervene. This tactic was largely implemented by Task Force Wagram, the French forces engaged in Iraq against the Islamic State. The French Caesars have, on several occasions, carried out artillery raids, penetrating several kilometers or even tens of kilometers into enemy territory to fire on a specific target, then disappearing before the adversary can react. .
The new Archer is composed of a 155mm, 52-caliber, self-loading 21-round cannon, which can be mounted on several 8x8 truck models. It has a ballistic calculator and reaches a range of 40 km with conventional shells, and 60 km with the Excalibur shell. It is presented as the most advanced artillery system mounted on wheels (this is not to offend American and German friends), a title which still largely remains to be demonstrated, compared to the Caesar and the heavy Caesar, which occupies well this position for a decade, and which, unlike the Archer, has repeatedly proven itself in combat.