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BOFORS ARCHER: The pride of the Swedish Artillery


The Bofors ARCHER is one of the most capable and well know self-propelled guns fielded by modern armies. Sweden has already fielded it, a number of them has been donated to Ukraine while the UK will likely also acquire a number of systems too.

Development and integration into service

In 1995 the Swedish military began development of the ARCHER following a study to build a self-propelled gun based on the FH-77, which was already in service in large numbers.
The prototype was built by BAE Systems Bofors 8 years later, which began test firing in 2005.
Sweden and Norway signed a contract to acquire 48 (24+24) ARCHER in 2008 while in the same year they signed a cooperation agreement to further improve the system. Due to financial problems, in 2013 Norway canceled its order.
Finally, the ARCHER joined the force of the Swedish military in 2013 after some technical problems were solved. Three years later, Sweden also bought the ARCHERS that were originally meant for Norway’s order.

BOFORS ARCHER: The pride of the Swedish Artillery
Photo By Ibaril – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7017423

Technical features and capabilities

The ARCHER is a modern 155mm self-propelled gun and is the spearhead of Swedish artillery, harmoniously combining high mobility, firepower and easy deployment on the battlefield.
It is 13 meters long, 3 meters high and weighs 33 tons. It is mounted on a truck (10×10 OSHKOSH/6×6 VOLVO/8×8 RMMV) which can operate in a radius of 500km and uses a 440hp engine, allowing it to reach a speed of 90km/h.
The truck has an armored cabin which protects the crew of three from mines, shrapnel, bullets as well as adverse weather conditions. It is worth noting that the crew fights inside the vehicle away from the ammunition, so the chances of injury from an explosion are greatly reduced.


In terms of armament, using the already successful and fully automated FH-77 type gun, it can engage ground targets with various types of projectiles. While also being able to use “smart” artillery shells like the BONUS and EXCALIBUR rounds, it can target threats, with accuracy, at a range of 35 and 50 km respectively.
All of this works in conjunction with state-of-the-art navigation and ballistic calculation systems, making it capable of hitting targets with high precision.

However, the feature that makes ARCHER unique is its increased speed. According to the manufacturer, it can fire 9 rounds per minute and “empty” its magazine (21 rounds) in 3.5 minutes.
Along with the ARCHER it tends to operate a support vehicle, which carries up to 100 shells. This way it can be reloaded with ammo within 5 minutes.
The vehicle’s self-defense is based on a 12.7 mm remote-controlled weapon station (RWS) or a 40 mm grenade launcher.

Final conclusions

ARCHER is a modern artillery platform that gives the operator unprecedented target engagement capabilities.
It is worth considering as a possible replacement for the older M-109s in service with many armies around the world that are in immediate need of acquiring modern guns.

Tell us what you think in the comments!

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Romania to get more M1278A1 JLTVs

In a press release by DSCA it became known that Romania will acquire up to 95 more M1278A1 Heavy Gun Carriers JLTVs. Originally Romania was cleared to buy up to 34 vehicles of that type, with then contract being valued at $43.73 million.

Now, Romania wants to bring the total number of the vehicles to 129. The modification to the contract includes 95 additional M1278A1s along with the additional support equipment needed and is valued at $104.0 million.

DSCA’s press release

“WASHINGTON, March 14, 2023 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Romania of ninety-five (95) Heavy Gun Carriers Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $104.0 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Romania has requested to buy an additional ninety-five (95) Heavy Gun Carriers Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs). This amendment will push the current case above the MDE and total case value notification thresholds and thus requires notification of the entire case. The original FMS case, valued at $43.73 million, included thirty-four (34) Heavy Gun Carriers JLTVs. Therefore, this notification is for a total of one hundred twenty-nine (129) M1278A1 Heavy Gun Carriers Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. Also included are VRC-104 radio kits; VRC-114 radio kits; baseline integration kits; basic issue items; Defense Advanced GPS Receivers (DAGRs); DAGR integration kits; network switch ports; exportable power kits; silent watch energy storages; power expansion kits; RF7800i intercom kits; combat bumper kits; winch kits; flat tow kits; run flat kits; spare tire kits; commander supply display units; improved turret drive systems; M1114 turret ring hatches; 2-year contractor spare parts package; technical assistance; total package fielding; technical publications/manuals; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is $104.0 million.”, the press release states.

Romania to get more M1278A1 JLTVs
Photo By Oshkosh Defence – https://oshkoshdefense.com/photo-gallery/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63464910

About the M1278A1 HGC JLTV

It is a variant of the JLTV, designed to accommodate either crew-served or remotely controlled weapon stations. With a protected gun mount, it is capable to be used to over-watch an area, support infantry with direct gunfire, escort convoys and in any other security oriented mission.

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K21: The powerful South Korean IFV


The K21 is an IFV of the South Korean ADD, which was designed to replace the older K2000. As of 2018, more than 466 vehicles have been built while South Korea aims to field 120 more until 2027. The Democratic Republic of Korea Army, also plans to acquire an upgraded version of it.

The vehicle has a weight of 25.6t, length 6.9m, width 3.4m, height 2.6m, has a crew of 3 people, while it can also carry a group of 9 people.

Its chassis is almost entirely made of aluminum thus reducing its weight and allowing it to move at high speeds without the need for a powerful engine.

It carries the 750hp D2840LXE V-10 diesel engine, while its upgraded version will carry an improved version of the engine with 840hp. The vehicle has a maximum road speed of 70 km and a range of 500 km.

K21: The indigenous South Korean IFV
Photo By 대한민국 국군 Republic of Korea Armed Forces – 2014.5.20 육군 수도기계화보병사단 K-21 장갑차 전투사격훈련 K-21 combat firing practice, Republic of Korea Army Capital Mechanized Infantry Division, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36996234

K21’s Armor:

As we mentioned above, its chassis is almost entirely made of aluminum reinforced with ceramic armor. It can withstand direct hits from 30mm armor-piercing projectiles on its front and 14.5mm armor-piercing projectiles on the rest of its sides.
The upgraded version of the vehicle will carry an Active Protection System (APS), for protection against ATGM missiles.

K21’s Armament:

The vehicle is armed with a 40mm K4O cannon with 300rpm firing rate, it also carries a 7.62mm machine gun and two AT-1K Raybolt type ATGM anti-tank missile launchers can be mounted.

K21: The indigenous South Korean IFV
Photo By Rheo1905 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2947655

All in all, K21 is a capable IFV, especially with its future upgrades, which can take down heavily armed and armored IFV’s, such as the BMP-3, as it was designed for.

Tell us what you think in the comments!

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BREAKING: US MQ-9 downed after mid-air collision with Russian Su-27

The U.S. European Command made public that earlier today a Russian Su-27 collided with a MQ-9 unmanned aircraft. This resulted to damage on the MQ-9 which then crashed in international waters.

U.S. European Command’s report about the MQ-9’s crash:

“Two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept with a U.S. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance unmanned MQ-9 aircraft that was operating within international airspace over the Black Sea today. 

At approximately 7:03 AM (CET), one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters. Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional. 

BREAKING: US MQ-9 downed after mid-air collision with Russian Su-27
Photo By Dmitry A. Mottl – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3760392

“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”

“U.S. and Allied aircraft will continue to operate in international airspace and we call on the Russians to conduct themselves professionally and safely,” Hecker added. 

This incident follows a pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots while interacting with U.S. and Allied aircraft over international airspace, including over the Black Sea. These aggressive actions by Russian aircrew are dangerous and could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation. 

U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa routinely fly aircraft throughout Europe over sovereign territory and throughout international airspace in coordination with applicable host nation and international laws. In order to bolster collective European defense and security, these missions support Allied, partner, and U.S. national objectives.”

This incident comes in a region where the United States is really active when it comes to aerial assets with daily flights of MQ-9s, MQ-4s, E-3Ps, P-8s and and many more types of aircraft.


M2A2 Bradley ODS: Potential sale to Greece

In a very important development, for the strength of the Greek armed forces, the request of the Greek side for the supply of M2A2 Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicles in the ODS version, through EDA from the reserves of the US Army, has finally been answered by the United States.

The answer states that Greece can procure up to 300 armored vehicles of this type in the state in which they are stored (as is where is).

M2A2 Bradley ODS: Potential sale to Greece
Photo by Capt. Erica Mitchell

About the M2A2 Bradley ODS

During the 1991 Gulf War, a specialized version of the M2 Bradley known as Operation Desert Storm (ODS) was developed specifically for the fighting in that region.

The ODS version of the M2 Bradley has a number of significant upgrades that set it apart from its previous versions.

The “Operation Desert Storm” and “Operation Desert Storm-Engineer” improvements were based on lessons learned during the first Gulf War in 1991. Major improvements included a laser range finder (ELRF), a tactical navigation system (TACNAV) incorporating the Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver (PLGR) and Digital Compass Systems (DCS). A missile countermeasure device designed to defeat first-generation guided missiles and the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) Battlefield Command Information System.

Interior storage was further improved and a thermal imaging system was added for the driver. The infantry squad was again increased to seven men, six of whom sat opposite each other in two 3-man benches in the passenger compartment, with the seventh back in the position behind the turret.

With the retirement of the Dragon missile, the vehicle was able to carry some Javelin anti-tank missiles.

M2A2 Bradley ODS: Potential sale to Greece
Photo By Mrkoww – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50193830

The Bradley’s armament is completed by its 25mm M242 chain gun, with a total of 900 rounds, its dual TOW launcher, with 7 TOW missiles stored in the vehicle and a coaxial 7.62mm M240 machine gun.

This is one of the most noticeable aspects of the overall design of the vehicle.
Although the M2A2 Bradley has undergone a steady stream of improvements during its lifetime, the M2A2 Bradley ODS continues to be a key component of the United States Army’s armored vehicle inventory and an effective tool for military operations.

Therefore, the prospect of its inclusion in the Greek Army is positive, as long as the vehicles are in good condition and there is a sound upgrade plan to maintain their combat level, most probably through BAE Systems.

Tell us what you think in the comments!

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Delilah: Elbit Systems’ versatile cruise missile


Israel’s arms industry has big portfolio of highly capable weapon systems. One of them is Elbit Systems’ Delilah cruise missile. Delilah’s development started in the 1980-90s as a decoy meant for SEAD/DEAD operations and the developed. In the mid-90s Delilah became operational with IAF on its F-16s and F-4s.

Delilah’s capabilities

Delilah is a stand-off cruise missile with a range of 250 kilometers and simultaneously has the ability to loiter over the target’s area, in the same way as loitering munition.

Delilah: Elbit Systems' versatile cruise missile
Photo By KGyST – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11766754

It is equipped with Imagining Infrared Electrooptical (IIR E/O) seeker enabling man-in-the-loop mode, allowing the user to control the missile through the terminal phase of the engagement. Delilah is also capable of guiding itself automatically using GPS and INS.

Delilah is suitable for performing precision strikes as it has a CEP of about 1 meter, this is also applies to moving targets while also being to cancel its attack, go-arround and re-attack the target from an optimal angle. This aspect also minimizes the probability of collateral damage

Technical information and abilities from Elbit

  • Range: Up to 250 km
  • Guidance: Autonomous GPS/INS
  • Advanced electro-optical seeker
  • Advanced avionics
  • Turbo-jet engine for long-range and adaptive flight profile
  • Real-time video imagery (Man-in-the-Loop) for selectable hit point
  • Cruise speed: Mach 0.5 – 0.7 (Dive: Mach 0.85)
  • Long-range, loitering air-to-surface precision-strike missile
  • Flexible mission profile
  • Go-around and re-attack capabilities
  • Multi-platform launch versatility
  • Operable in littoral waters and open sea
  • Day/night, all-weather operational capabilities

Delilah’s versions

In its air-to-suraface variant it can equip slow-flying turboprop planes as well as fighter planes, like the F-16s and F-4s mentioned above. Delilah is also able to equip helicopters, like the UH-60 Black Hawk or the S-70/MH-60 Sea Hawk, as well as surface/land platforms like ships and on Elbit’s PULS MLRS.

It must be stated that the helicopter and surface variants both achieve the same operational range as the air-to-surface variant with the use of a booster.

Delilah: Elbit Systems' versatile cruise missile
Photo By Natan Flayer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7401032

Battle proven

During its service with the IAF has been used in strikes against Syrian and Iranian targets. It has been reported to have successfully destroyed a wide array of targets, including SA-2 Dvina, SA-5 S-200 and SA-22 Pantsir.

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President of Cyprus: “We are increasing our military power – We are under occupation”

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis, visited the Katsani camp in Stavrovouni, headquarters of the 33rd Commando Squadron, and made new important statements regarding the increase in the strength of the National Guard.

The new Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulidis stated that “as from the first days of our government, our contact both generally with the National Guard and with all units such as the 33rd Commando Squadron will be continuous”.

The President of the Cypriot Republic was accompanied by the Minister of Defense Mr. Michalis Giorgallas, the Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Dimokritos Zervakis, the Deputy Government Representative Mrs. Doxa Komodromou and other officials.

The Cypriot President in parts of his statements said:

“We are a country under occupation. As long as there is an occupation in our homeland, we must strengthen our deterrent power.

At the same time, however, we are a member state of the EU and we welcome the fact that in recent years the EU has taken bold steps in the pillar of Defense and Security by developing its own infrastructure in the specific sectors, and the Republic of Cyprus together with other states , it’s Greece, France, we will be at the core of this effort because we really believe that the EU should strengthen itself in this area.
After all, I was Secretary of State and I know that without a strong deterrent, without a strong defense, foreign policy discourse is clearly limited.

The recent US decision to completely lift the US embargo is also particularly important, a decision that we will take advantage of, a decision that also reflects the level of our relations with the US, the role we are trying to play in the region.

You know very well that one of the main pillars of our cooperation with the states of the region, whether at the tripartite or multilateral level, is also based on the exercises that take place, it is also based on the field of Defense and Security. And always within the framework of strengthening the deterrent power of the Republic of Cyprus”.

Asked about the unified defense doctrine, the President of the Republic said that “if we all remember when the unified defense doctrine began, I must say based on the information I have, both from the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the National Guard that important steps have been taken since then. Operationally, we are clearly in a better position than we were when the unified defense doctrine was first announced and for as long as it was implemented.

What I would like to mention is the clear political will on our part to strengthen even more the cooperation that exists with the Greek Government and not only, but also with other states because there is cooperation such as with France, the neighboring states, there is from on our part, this political will and I believe that the next important step we must take is to see these partnerships through the framework of our participation in the EU as a member state, within the framework of European Defense and Security which in recent years years, the most important steps have been taken”.

Asked if the implementation of the equipment program will continue, the President of Cyprus stated that “it will continue. In our political program it is noted that 2% of the country’s GDP will be used for the equipment programs of the Republic of Cyprus always within the framework of strengthening the deterrent power of our country”.

Updates on the “ARCHYTAS” and “GRYPAS” Greek Drone programs

According to a recent Press Release of the Greek Ministry of Finance “The two drone programs “Archytas” and “Grypas”, which have been launched, financed and supervised by the Ministry of Finance and which aim at the design and industrial production of autonomous aerial vehicles (drones) with the cooperation of the Hellenic Aerospace Industry and of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Patras, Democritus University of Thrace and the University of Thessaly are in the process of implementation.

Every three months the Minister of Finance reports to the citizens on the course of the drone programms implementation.

More specifically:

“Archytas” program

Its implementation started on September 1, 2021. In the last quarter:

The tests of the sub-scale model were successfully completed by the competent officers of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The Final Design Review Meeting (Critical Design Review – CDR) was held, which certified the completion of the Design.

The establishment of the special area for the production of both the two prototypes and for the industrial production line has been completed by Hellenic Aerospace Industry.

The Hellenic Aerospace Industry has received a significant percentage of the required materials and devices, while others are expected, as they are experiencing delays due to disruptions in the supply chains. Hellenic Aerospace Industry made a trial construction of a small part of the required molds, in order to confirm their design. These samples were used for a trial construction of part of the wing of the aircraft, with complete success in confirming the design.

The reception of the devices of the system is followed by the laboratory tests of the devices and their interconnection, by the University of Thessaly, the Democritus University of Thrace and the Hellenic Aerospace Industry.

An order is given for the final manufacture of all the molds, as well as an order for the required composite materials that will be used in the construction of the ” Archytas” and immediately after that the production phase of the two prototypes begins.

This is followed by tests of the aircraft on the ground, test flights and flights to evaluate the performance of the UAV (in terms of specifications). Around the end of this year, with the end of the checks, the Hellenic Aerospace Industry will be ready to take orders for the manufacture of aircraft, for various uses.

“Grypas” program

The start of the program took place on January 15, 2023. On February 3, the kick-off meeting of those involved took place. The first phase of the program provides for the recording and analysis of the businesses in which the users wish to participate in the aircraft. This will be followed by the phases of analyzing the user requirements and their effects on the work undertaken by each participant in the program.

The representative of the Hellenic Air Force participating in the program, in collaboration with the Hellenic Aerospace Industry, has prepared a detailed record of the above, based on international standards, in order to review and appropriately modify them by the users, depending on their particular requirements.

This method seeks to significantly reduce the response time of the three users, in order to give enough time to analyze their requirements. For the immediate future, visits-meetings to the three Branches of the Greek Armed Forces are planned.

Therefore, the implementation of the two programs of national importance with the cooperation of the Hellenic Aerospace Industry and the Greek Universities, financed by the Greek citizens through the Ministry of Finance, is progressing smoothly” concludes the Press Release.

Rumors of potential deal as Elbit Systems meets with Hellenic Air Force

The Greek Armed Forces modernization initiative has continued with a series of meetings at the Hellenic Air Force General Staff. This time, the Israeli company Elbit presented the self-protection systems that it manufactures to the Hellenic Air Force.

More specifically, within the context of its announcement, the Greek Ministry of Defense states:

“At the Hellenic Air Force General Staff on Monday, March 6, 2023, a meeting between the representative of the company “Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT-Elisra,” Mr. Shalom Levy (VP Marketing), and competent staff of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff took place.

The capabilities of the Self-Protection System that the company manufactures for the aircraft were presented as part of the agenda for the meeting, which served the purpose of presenting these capabilities on behalf of the business”

Rumors of a Potential deal with Elbit

Rumors of potential deal as Elbit Systems meets with Hellenic Air Force
Greek F-16 DVIDS, Photo by French Master Sergeant Malaury Buis

Greek Armed Forces are extremely interested in electronic warfare and defensive systems. Nevertheless, the timing of this announcement could not be more fascinating.

Elbit made an announcement yesterday, Monday, March 13, that it has reached an arrangement with a European NATO member state for the supply of aircraft countermeasures systems.

The meeting with the Hellenic Air force General Staff took place the Monday before, on March 6, leaving open the possibility that Greece is in fact the client country.

It could be a coincidence, and the only way for us to be certain of the “identity” of the country that placed the purchase is if there is some kind of official notification by the Greek authorities.


Norway to provide Ukraine with NASAMS systems

Norway has decided to bolster Ukraine’s air defense by providing two NASAMS firing units. Norway’s Defense Minister, Mr. Bjørn Arild Gram, visited Ukraine and had meetings with both Ukraine’s president, Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyj and Minister of Defense, Mr. Oleksii Reznikov.

Norway’s Defense Minister made a statement regarding the war in Ukraine saying:

“More than a year has passed since the Russian regime started its war against Ukraine. The war has had enormous consequences. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and service personnel have been killed. Millions have been forced to flee their homes. Large parts of the country have been reduced to ruins. The devastation is difficult to comprehend. Seeing this with my own eyes makes a deep impression”

More NASAMS for Ukraine

After the Minister’s visit, the Norwegian government confirmed that, in cooperation with the United States, will provide Ukraine with two more NASAMS firing units, adding up to the other two firing units provided by the US. In addition to that, Norway will take upon the task to train Ukrainian troops on the operation and maintenance of the system.

It is also stated that Norway also helped by providing much needed equipment and training to US donations of NASAMS to Ukraine.

Norway to provide Ukraine with NASAMS systems
Photo By Ministerie van Defensie – https://magazines.defensie.nl/defensiekrant/2014/06/nasam, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69946443

About the NASAMS Surface-to-Air system

The NASAMS Air Defense System, jointly developed by KONGSBERG and Raytheon, is one of the most capable short to medium range SAM systems. It incorporates the concept of network centric architecture, is capable of simultaneous engagements.

One of its main “selling points” is the ability to use many different missiles, varying in operational range. It is capable to use the AIM-9X Block II missile, the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile and the AMRAAM-ER (Extended Range) missile.

Using the wide range of sensors available, NASAMS is able to target fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles as well as unmanned aircraft.

A typical NASAMS firing unit is consisted of a command post, an active 3D radar, typically the Raytheon AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel, a passive electro-optical and infrared sensor and a number of missile canister launchers that accommodate up to six of any of the missiles mentioned above.