|Manufacturer:||Bofors Defence AB|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
The most numerous artillery piece in the Swedish army today is the model 77 howitzer. It is a towed gun, made by Bofors, with 155 mm caliber. The gun can be moved without the use of a towing vehicle by way of its built-in motor and controls.
The Swedish Army inventory includes two versions of the M/77 howitzer, the older "haubits 77A" and the newer "haubits 77B". The B's equip the first line artillery battalions while the A's equip reserve (cadre) units.
The Bofors m/77 howitzer is also used by the Indian army and has seen extensive service, mainly in Kashmir.
55 mm Field Howitzer, Type 77A:
The 155 mm field howitzer 77A is equipped with an engine for self-propulsion in the deployment area; the engine also generates the hydraulic pressure for the aiming and loading systems. During road transports, the gun is towed by Cross-country Vehicle, Type 40. Gun crew consists of 10-14 soldiers. Conventional HE shells and base-bleed shells can be fired from this gun. Range with a conventional shell is in excess of 20 km, with a base-bleed shell in excess of 24 km. Rate of fire is 3 rounds within 10 seconds.
155 mm Field Howitzer, Type 77AD:
The 155 mm field howitzer 77 AD is a study example of how an upgrading and modernization of Howitzer 77A can be implemented. In the face of the 21st century, an upgrading of this gun has to be carried out. Upgrading and modernization comprises, among other things, adaptation to a new type of ammunition. Also, a new towing vehicle must be procured. The upper gun-carriage from a Field Howitzer 77A has been mounted onto a standard dumper-truck chassis that has been equipped with a splinter-proof compartment for personnel transport. The assembly onto a dumper-truck chassis allows for a very high degree of cross-country capability. Rate of fire and range corresponds to that of Field Howitzer 77A. The time for deployment, firing and redeployment is considerably reduced if the gun is mounted onto a dumper-truck chassis, instead of being towed by a conventional cross-country truck. Field-howitzer 77AD carries with it 24 shells in special ammunition compartments on the dumper-truck. Field Howitzer 77AD is equipped with Positioning System, Type 2 (POS 2). This equipment is used partly for defining the position of the gun, partly for directing the gun for firing.
155 mm Field Howitzer, Type 77B:
Field Howitzer 77B is included in the divisional artillery battalions. The gun is a development of Field Howitzer 77A and was commissioned into the Army at the beginning of the 1990’s. The difference between this gun and the 77A is that it is equipped with a screw mechanism instead of a wedge mechanism, plus a longer barrel with a plate brake. Field Howitzer 77B is one of the few automatically loaded artillery pieces with cartridge charges. Each gun is is equipped with the POS 2 system for positioning and direction of the gun.
All types of 155 mm ammunition, among others conventional HE ammunition and base-bleed ammunition, can be fired from this gun. Range with a conventional HE shell is in excess of 17 km, and with a base-bleed shell in excess of 27 km. Rate of fire is 3 rounds within 12 seconds.
In a joint development program between Bofors of Sweden and GIAT Industries of France BONUS 155 mm grenades with armor-piercing homing sub-munitions have been developed. BONUS enable artillery units to attack and destroy enemy armored units at ranges of up to 35 km. Both the French and the Swedish Armed Forces have ordered the grenades, for delivery in the years 2001-2008. The initial order was for 9000 grenades.