Bofors Bandkanon 1

     Notes:  The Bandkanon (Swedish Army designation Bkan 1) was a Swedish self-propelled artillery piece originally designed in the mid-1960s and placed in service in the late 1960s.  Originally, 70 Bandkanons were to be built, but the budget prohibited this at the time, with only 26 Bandkanonen 1As being produced, with a few later under the 1C variant.  Due to budget cuts at the time of introduction, only 26 Bkan 1As were produced Ė and most Bkan 1Cs were upgraded 1As. (The RL cost of the Bkan was almost outrageous at the time.) The Bandkonen is noted for its L/52 gun, an exceptionally-long and far-ranging gun for the time, and the fact that the gun was fed from a magazine with a full autoloader, giving it one of the highest rates of fire that any SP artillery piece has ever had. Due to the low numbers of the Bkan present, they were assigned primarily at division level.  The Swedish Army phased out the Bandkanon 1A and 1C in 2003.  The Bkan was to have the firepower of an MRL (for whatever reason, the Swedes at the time did not actually produce or put into service any large-caliber MRLs). The Bkan program resulted from the abortive KRV Tank Project, which was supposed to result in a family of vehicles on the same chassis.  In the end, only the Bkan 1 and S103 resulted from this initiative. 

     The Bkan 1A was the first version.  Until the advent of the Bkan 1C, the original version was simply designated Bkan 1. Though the Bkan 1A had a large chassis, it was given the engine of the S-Tank, which, on the Bkan, made the vehicle woefully underpowered, especially considering that the Banskanon was one of the heaviest military vehicles of its time.

     The 155mm m/60 gun of the Bkan 1 was fed from a 14-round magazine, with one available in the vehicle.  They could be reloaded as a single magazine full of rounds by a special support vehicle.  Special rounds could be loaded into the breech with some help from the autoloader, but this was a difficult and awkward procedure and not used very often.  When fed from the magazine, the gun could fire 14 rounds in under 48 seconds (in game terms, an entire magazine in nine 5-second phases, or a bit over 1.5 rounds per second), though reloading is a lengthy process taking nearly 10 minutes.  The magazine can also be hand-loaded with help from the autoloader, taking three phases to load one round into the magazine; there is, however, no mechanism for hand-loading the actual gun. The Bkan1A had its own crane, allowing it to take a magazine off of itself and take a fresh one from the back of a support vehicle and load itself. The travel lock for the main gun is at the very front of the glacis plate, and is also power-operated. On each side of the glacis at the front are clusters of four smoke grenade launchers.  The commanderís machinegun is the Swedish Army near-standard Ksp m/58.  The Bkan 1A had a surprisingly advanced electronic fire control suite for the time, necessitated by the lack of crewmembers involved in the actual firing of the howitzer, and the possibility of only remote firing of the howitzer. (The gunner has only to press three buttons to load from the autoloader, aim the gun using a partially-automatic aiming system, and fire it.)

     The engines were the same as on the S103A version of the S-Tank; these included the Boeing GT-502 gas turbine developing 300 horsepower, and a Rolls Royce K-60 diesel with 240 horsepower.  The transmission and drive drain were also taken from the S103A, appropriately modified for the larger chassis and greater number of roadwheels, as well as greater weight.  The use of the S103Aís drive components and engine led to criticism that the Bkan 1 was underpowered; however, unless an emergency move was being done, high speed was not normally required from the Bkan 1.  In an emergency move or dash move, with both engines operating, the Bkan 1 does have a great deal of power and quick power response.  A by-product of the use of the S103ís drive train and suspension components is its ability to rock the chassis back and forth, useful for quick azimuth changes and fine tuning.  Due to limits in the size of the autoloader and breech, the Bkan 1 was only able to fire 155mm shells in existence available in the late 1960s.  (This includes the 155mm tactical nuclear shell; though they were not ubiquitous enough for the Bkan to carry a full magazine of tac nukes, imagine a 48-second salvo of 14 20-kiloton nuclear weapons being fired!)  The Bkan used special unitary ammunition that included the projectile and combustible case charge module, with the fuzes being set remotely by programming from the assistant gunner. (Though its rounds are based on the 155mm rounds available at the time, they were modified for use on the Bkan.)-  The crew normally rides in the front hull, and the gunner, assistant gunner, commander, and driver normally do their jobs from the front hull, and they are in the forward-most portion of the front hull.

     The turret of the Bkan 1 is in the rear of the vehicle, though it has limited traverse.  There is a driverís compartment on the front left behind a highly-sloped glacis plate; the turret is divided into three compartments, with the gunner and one loader being on the left, with a hatch above them.  The commander is on the right, and he has a power-operated cupola with a weapon mount on it. The center compartment houses the autoloader and the interface for the magazine. The Bandkanon has an inertial land navigation system that allows it to take somewhat inaccurate shots (-1 to skill rolls) without input from an FDC.

     The Bkan 1C produced primarily automotive improvements, including the use of a unified power pack which can be changed using the appropriate equipment in half an hour.  The engines were upgraded to a Boeing 502-10MA (same power, but less fuel consumption and less maintenance required).  The Bkan 1C had a Detroit Diesel 290-horsepower turbocharged diesel for its main power; however, the Bkan 1C was still considered underpowered.  The drive train was modified to being it more in line with the S103C. The crane was removed, as the support vehicles meant for the Bkan 1C already were standardized with such a crane. The Bkan 1C used the POS 2 land navigation system, which was essentially an improved inertial navigation system with a mapping module. Unfortunately, the retrofits had a high RL cost, and the production line was only reopened for a very short time, so only about 30 Bkan 1Cís ever existed at any one time.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Bandkanon 1A

$530,272

D, G, AvG, A,+  JP5

563 kg

52 tons

6

26

Passive IR (D, G, C)

Shielded

Bandkanon 1C

$487.360

D, G, AvG, A, + JP5

500 kg

53 tons

6

27

Passive IR (D, G, C)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov*

Com Mov*

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons*

Config

Susp

Armor

Bandkanon 1A

88/62

24/17

1445

233

Trtd

T5

TF19  TS10  TR7  HF24  HS8  HR5

Bandkanon 1C

92/65

26/18

1445

322

Trtd

T5

TF19  TS10  TR7  HF24  HS8  HR5

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Bandkanon 1A/1C

None

None

155mm L/52 m/60 Howitzer, Ksp m/58 (C)

14x155mm, 1000x7.62mm

*If using only the diesel engine, reduce speed by 55%, and reduce fuel consumption by 55%.

 

Bofors FH77AD Archer

     Notes:  This self-propelled gun is part efficiency, part quickness to get into production, and part expediency.  The main purpose was to quickly mechanize the Swedish field howitzers. It is essentially an FH77 field howitzer mounted on the chassis of a 6x6 all-terrain Volvo truck. In addition to Sweden, the Iranians use the Archer, though how they acquired them is currently a mystery; what is known is that Sweden did not sell them to the Iranians. The deal with the Indians (for both the FH77BD and FH77B) was subject to accusations of a kickback and bribery scheme, which is still being resolved. Certain defense officials on both sides and in a cutout company in Argentina are said to be subject to arrest at any time.  Norway was going to acquire 24 BW systems, but then abruptly cancelled their order, for reasons I have not been able to find out as of yet. Croatia was originally interested in the FH77BW, but before any contracts could be signed, the Germans offered them used and surplus PzH2000s, which they elected to acquired instead of the FH77BW.  Sweden appears to be the major user of the Archer, with a complement of 24, which unfortunately were delivered late by two years in 2013, and in 2016, they were still being delivered to the Swedish Army.  The loss of user orders has greatly increased the RL per cost, as has the upgrades requested by the Swedish Army.

     The Archer is mounted at the rear of the truck chassis. The gun is an L/38 155mm howitzer. The remainder of the truck bed is used for ammunition, fuzes, charges, and personal gear and truck pioneer tools.  It is able to fire all types of Western and Chinese 155mm ammunition, including some rather exotic special rounds.  A small amount of space is provided for this purpose.  The gun can be brought into action within 50 seconds of a stop, and brought back to traveling order in 3 minutes.  The Archer has its own land navigation (GPS with inertial navigation backup), along with a mapping computer and module, and an artillery ballistic computer and a GP ruggedized laptop.  It can generate its own firing solutions with coordinates from a FIST team, or without one if the map location of the target is known. Before firing, two beefy spades are lowered at the rear for stabilization.  Note that the howitzer has a limited traverse of 15 degrees in either direction. An option (reflected in the stats below) is a non-rotating cupola with a medium machinegun mounted on a swivel mount.  The gun is capable of firing all makes of 155mm ammunition in the world, including the new US M982 Excalibur round.  The projectiles may be propelled by standard NATO charges, NATO modular charges, or Bofors Uniflex 2 combustible-case modular charges. The gun is capable of MRSI fire (six rounds in 7 seconds) as well as burst fire of up to six rounds in 30 seconds for 1 minute.  Normal fire rate is two rounds in three seconds, provided the gun is feeding from magazines. MRSI salvos may be up to six rounds (one magazine) in size, instead of the five rounds normally used by other MRSI-capable gun systems.  The vehicle can be ready to fire an initial burst of six in 30 seconds after a halt, and the jacks are not generally lowered for this initial burst. The gun may be fully loaded by a support vehicle carrying magazines of ammunition in 10 minutes for all seven magazines. The gun module is normally operated unmanned, from controls in the cab, including the loading of fresh magazines. The gun itself is a modification of the FH77 towed artillery piece.

     The FH77AD is mounted on a Volvo FM-12 series articulated truck, with 6x6 suspension and the suspension raised and strengthened for its off-road and artillery-hauling role.  The bed is highly abbreviated, just enough to carry ammunition and personal/truck gear. It is powered by a D12C340 Euro 2 engine and an automatic transmission, developing 340 horsepower. A 15kW APU is provided, which supplies the necessary operating power.  The vehicle is capable of driving in up to 1 meter of snow, water, or mud, and can be air-transported in aircraft about the size of the Airbus A400Mís size.  The tires are run flats and have central tire pressure regulation.  The tires are also puncture resistant.  The cab and gun module has a modicum of armor, mostly protective from shell splinters or small arms armor-piercing rounds up to 7.62mm Nagant.  The underside is the most heavily protected part of the vehicle; it is reportedly been tested with charges of up to 6 kilograms with the vehicle capable of keeping going and with only minimal disruption to the crew. (The mine protection system is itself a modified version of that on the Finnish Pasi APC.) The cab is also protected by NBC Overpressure and antiradiological liners for both the cab and gun module.  (The gun module is open-topped and not protected by NBC Overpressure; when the crews must work there, they use a Vehicular NBC system.) The vehicle is also protected by a four-module fire detection and suppression system2

     The FH77BD is the version sold for export; it has an L/45 barrel instead of the FH77ADís shorter barrel. The BW replaces that gun barrel with an L/52 barrel, and replaces the simple machinegun mount with a Protector RWS mounting a Ksp m/58 and an HK GMG.  The engine has been updated to a version of the standard engine with a horsepower rating of 460 horsepower. It is otherwise identical to the AD, and has virtually replaced the original ADs and BDs in the Swedish Army, with the new BWs being upgraded from the earlier vehicles.

     The cab of the FH77AD is armored, and the HF armor figure is applied to all angles of fire against the cab, instead of just fire originating from the front of the vehicle. 

     Twilight 2000 Notes: This work had just begun as the Twilight War commenced, and only about 30 ADs and six BDs had been manufactured at the outset of the war.  Though production continued at a slow rate during the war, not many more FH77AD's were made until well after the Twilight War. The BW was not produced until many years after the Twilight War. Production of the BD was not continued after the Twilight War, with only BWs being made when production picked up again after the Twilight War.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological**

FH77AD

$1,096,551

D, A

650 kg

30 tons

4

18

Headlights

Shielded

FH77BD

$1,115,218

D, A

627 kg

30.09 tons

4

18

Headlights

Shielded

FH77BW

$1,197,680

D, A

582 kg

30.27 tons

4

21

Headlights

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor*

FH77AD

103/52

29/14

500

125

Stnd

W(4)

TF3  TS2  TR2  HF4  HS3  HR3

FH77BD

103/52

29/14

500

125

Stnd

W(4)

TF3  TS2  TR2  HF4  HS3  HR3

FH77BW

128/64

36/18

500

169

Stnd

W(4)

TF3  TS2  TR2  HF4  HS3  HR3

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

FH77AD

None

None

155mm L/38 Howitzer, Ksp m/58 (C)

42x155mm, 1000x7.62mm

FH77BD

None

None

155mm L/45 Howitzer, Ksp m/58 (C)

42x155mm, 1000x7.62mm

FH77BW

None

None

155mm L/52 Howitzer, Ksp m/58 (RWS), HK GMG (RWS)

42x155mm, 2000x7.62mm, 400x40mm