Bofors Defence to Develop 52-Caliber FH 77B


Released on Thursday, February 26, 2004
France
Sweden
BONUS
FH 77BW
M982 Excalibur
km - kilometre
Bofors Defence, a Swedish subsidiary of United Defense, received a contract from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration to support the study of potential upgrades to the FH 77B self-propelled howitzer.

This contract worth $25 million includes engineering studies covering the next 18-month focused on upgrading existing 155mm 39-caliber FH 77B to a 52-caliber configuration. The new 52-caliber configuration is called the FH 77BW.

Bofors Defence will produce two 155mm 52-caliber FH 77BW prototypes to be delivered to the Swedish Army in 2005 for evaluation. Critical data provided through Army evaluation will lead the Swedish government to take a decision about potential fielding of the FH 77BW.

The new FH 77BW self-propelled howitzer will feature an automated ammunition handling system, a crew cockpit to control and fire the 52-caliber gun, and improved armor. The FH 77BW weight has been estimated around 27-ton with 21 complete ready-to-fire rounds and a 4-person crew.

The Bonus 155mm projectile currently in service with Sweden and France, and the Excalibur 155mm projectile currently under development are intended as the main asset for the 52-caliber gun. A 52-caliber long gun barrel will allow the FH 77BW to attack targets out to 40 miles (approx 65 km).

The Swedish Army would upgrade its existing 155mm FH 77B 39-caliber self-propelled to the FH 77BW standard if the program gets green light from the Swedish government. In addition to the 39-caliber FH 77B, Bofors Defence also developed the FH 77BD 45-caliber gun.

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