Haubits 77 (Swedish service)
Field Howitzer 77 (English designation)
Early to mid 1970's
1978 - 1984
Sweden - Bofors
About 720 have been produced.
- UNIT COST
High quality and good accuracy
Very high rate of fire
Autonomous movement in the field
High level of automation
Small minimum crew required
Large and heavy
The FH77 is a late Cold War era towed howitzer of Swedish origin. It was developed in the early 1970's as highly mobile towed alternative to self-propelled howitzers, such as the M109. At the time of development the FH77 was the most sophisticated towed howitzer due to its high level of automation. It also was the first towed howitzer to feature an auxiliary power unit for autonomous movement.
The FH77 uses a split trail carriage with castor wheels. An APU is mounted between in front of the axle. The 155mm 39-caliber ordnance features a pepperpot or double baffle muzzle brake. A HIAB crane and power rammer aid in loading the 155mm shells and related charges. The minimum crew consists of a commander, gunner and two loaders. A typical crew consists of 10 to 14 men, including the crew of the towing vehicle.
The FH77 fires both its own range of 155mm shells and NATO compliant ammunition. The maximum range is 21 km with regular ammunition and over 27 km with base bleed ammunition. The high level of automation results in a high rate of fire. When using semi-fixed ammunition three rounds can be fired in 8 seconds, and six rounds can be fired in 25 seconds. NATO standard ammunition is fired at a lower rate of fire. Sustained rate of fire is 3 rpm for 20 minutes.
The FH77 is towed over long distances by the Scania SBA111 6x6 truck. The APU allows the FH77 to move autonomously over short distances, even in the field. The FH77 is too heavy to be man handled. The high level of automation results in a limited emplacement time compared to others in its class.
The FH77 was adopted by Sweden in 1978 and remains in service today. The FH77 was exported to a several other nations. India is the best known user, both for acquiring over 400 guns and the political scandal related to the acquisition. Replacement in Indian service was planned, but overhaul and upgrade programmes are now underway.
The FH77 is a highly capable 155mm towed howitzer. The hydraulic crane and high level of automation allow for a high rate of fire. The FH77 is easily identified since it is one of the few single axle towed howitzers equipped with an APU. Over time a small number of variants was developed.
FH77/A: Baseline production model with sliding block breech.
FH77/B: Export model with interrupted screw breech.
FH77 B02: Indian upgrade of FH77/B with 45-caliber ordnance and improved electronics.
FH77 B05: Proposed upgraded similar to B02, but using a 52-caliber ordnance.
|Crew||5 to 14|
|Ordnance||155mm L/38 howitzer, 5.89 m barrel, 300 to 770 m/s|
|Elevation||-5 to +50°|
|Traverse||30° left and right|
|Rate of fire||3 rounds in 8 seconds, 6 rounds in 25 seconds, sustained 3 rpm for 20 minutes|
|Range||21.0 km (standard rounds), 27.4 km (ERFB-BB rounds)|
|Carriage||2 wheel split trail carriage, 2 castor wheels|
|Length||11.60 m (firing position)|
|Width||9.73 m (firing position)|
|Towing vehicle||6x6 truck|
|Speed||70 to 80 km/h on roads, 8 km/h using APU|
|Remarks||APU fitted for autonomous movement|