Switzerland is Near Selecting the Next Howitzer

Switzerland is Near Selecting the Next Howitzer
Switzerland is Near Selecting the Next Howitzer

Armasuisse, the Swiss procurement agency, has short-listed two final candidates for further testing and evaluation in the "Artillerie Wirkplattform und Wirkmittel 2026" (Artillery Effective Platform and Effective Means 2026) program. This is intended to replace Switzerland's indirect fire support systems. The Swiss Armed Forces currently have 133 M109 KAWEST self-propelled howitzers (SPH) in their inventory. The M109 SPH purchased 50 years ago is expected to reach the end of its service life in the early 2030s, according to Armasuisse.


In a press release, Armasuisse said they had invited several manufacturers to submit proposals based on Swiss requirements. After evaluating the initial proposals, two systems were chosen for further evaluation: ARCHER 8×8 self-propelled howitzer from BAE Systems Bofors AB, Sweden and RCH 155 AGM Howitzer from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG (KWM), Germany.
Switzerland is Near Selecting the Next Howitzer

The systems' technology, deployment potential, and logistics will be thoroughly tested and analysed using functional prototypes during the evaluation phase. According to Armasuisse, these tests will take place in Switzerland and abroad in 2023 and 2024. The final decision on which system to purchase is expected by the time of the Swiss Armed Forces Dispatch 2026.
Switzerland is Near Selecting the Next Howitzer

The Swedish 155 mm Archer artillery system is built on a Volvo 666 truck platform with a protected cab. The system employs a 155 mm/L52 automatically loaded, a remotely operated gun that can reach ranges of 30-60 km depending on the ammunition and propellant charge used. The operation requires at least three people. A Kongsberg PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Station (RWS) can be mounted on the vehicle cab for self-defence. The Swedish Army is the sole user. It currently has 48 examples on hand and orders another 24 for delivery by the end of 2022.