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Bofors 40mm (Series)

Towed Anti-Aircraft Gun / Air Defense Gun

Bofors 40mm (Series)

Towed Anti-Aircraft Gun / Air Defense Gun

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
IMAGES
OVERVIEW



Introduced in 1932, the Swedish Bofors 40mm excelled in both land and naval roles as an air defense gun - it still sees service today.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Sweden
YEAR: 1932
MANUFACTURER(S): Bofors Defence - Sweden / United Defense - USA / BAe Systems AB - UK
PRODUCTION: 25,000
OPERATORS: Algeria; Argentina; Australia; Austria; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Belize; Brazil; Brunei; Burma; Canada; Chile; Croatia; Cyprus; Denmark; Djibouti; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; Finland; France; Germany; Guatemala; India; Indonesia; Iceland; Ireland; Iraq; Israel; Kingdom of Italy; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Lebanon; Libya; Latvia; Lithuania; Malaysia; Mexico; Malta; Netherlands; Nigeria; Norway; New Zealand; Oman; Pakistan; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Singapore; Sudan; South Africa; South Korea; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan; Thailand; Turkey; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay; South Vietnam; Vietnam; Venezuela; Yemen
National flag of Algeria
ALG
National flag of Argentina
ARG
National flag of Australia
AUS
National flag of Austria
AST
National flag of Bahrain
BAH
National flag of Belgium
BEL
National flag of Benin
BEN
National flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina
BAH
National flag of Brazil
BRA
National flag of Canada
CAN
National flag of Chile
CHI
National flag of Croatia
CRO
National flag of Cyprus
CYP
National flag of Denmark
DEN
National flag of Djibouti
DJI
National flag of Dominican Republic
DOM
National flag of Ecuador
ECU
National flag of Egypt
EGY
National flag of Finland
FIN
National flag of France
FRA
National flag of Germany
GER
National flag of Guatemala
GUA
National flag of India
IND
National flag of Indonesia
IDO
National flag of Iraq
IRQ
National flag of Ireland
IRE
National flag of Israel
ISR
National flag of Kingdom of Italy
ITA
National flag of Japan
JPN
National flag of Jordan
JRD
National flag of Kenya
KEN
National flag of Latvia
LAT
National flag of Libya
LIB
National flag of Lithuania
LIT
National flag of Malaysia
MLA
National flag of Malta
MLT
National flag of Mexico
MEX
National flag of Netherlands
NED
National flag of New Zealand
NZ
National flag of Niger
NGR
National flag of Nigeria
NGA
National flag of Norway
NOR
National flag of Oman
OMA
National flag of Pakistan
PAK
National flag of Panama
PAN
National flag of Paraguay
PAR
National flag of Peru
PER
National flag of Philippines
PHI
National flag of Poland
POL
National flag of Portugal
POR
National flag of Qatar
QAT
National flag of Saudi Arabia
SAU
National flag of Serbia
SER
National flag of Singapore
SIN
National flag of South Africa
SAF
National flag of South Korea
SKO
National flag of South Vietnam
SVT
National flag of Spain
SPA
National flag of Sri Lanka
SRI
National flag of Sudan
SUD
National flag of Sweden
SWE
National flag of Switzerland
SWZ
National flag of Taiwan
TWN
National flag of Thailand
THL
National flag of Turkey
TUR
National flag of United Arab Emirates
UAE
National flag of United Kingdom
UK
National flag of United States
USA
National flag of Uruguay
URA
National flag of Venezuela
VEN
National flag of ; Vietnam
VTN
National flag of Yemen
YEM
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Bofors 40mm (Series) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 4
NBC PROTECTION: None.
NIGHTVISION: None.
ADVERTISEMENTS
WEIGHT

0
tons
0
kilograms
0
pounds
RANGE

0
miles
0
kilometers
ARMAMENT



1 OR 2 x 40mm autocannon gun barrels

Ammunition:
Dependent on ammunition carrier. 40x311mmR used in L/60 mark; 40x364mmR used in L/70 mark.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Bofors 40mm - Base Series Designation
• L/60 - Original form of 1932; firing 40x311mmR projectile.
• L/70 - Model of 1948; firing 40x364mmR projectile; increased range and increased rate-of-fire.
• Gun, AA, Mk I - UK guns locally-produced under license by Vickers
• M1 Bofors L/60 - U.S. Army designation; local-license production by Chrysler.
• 4cm FlaK 28 (Bofors) - German wartime models produced through Kongsberg of Norway.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Bofors 40mm (Series) Towed Anti-Aircraft Gun / Air Defense Gun.  Entry last updated on 3/7/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Along with the Swiss 20mm Oerlikon, the Swedish 40mm Bofors became one of the most successful light anti-aircraft weapons of military history. It appeared just prior to World War 2 (1939-1945) and was mass-produced both in Sweden and around the world while being used across all major fronts of the conflict. While it originally emerged as a naval air defense gun, its storied history was expanded as a land-based air defense system where it was adopted through a large collection of operators. Variations of the base design were eventually witnessed and the type has gone on to serve with a plethora of customers ranging from Algeria to Yemen. The British and Americans both locally-produced the type as did Germany (through Norwegian factories). The Soviets took on stocks through Lend-Lease while Japanese forces reused captured Dutch examples in the Pacific Theater. Such was the success of the 40mm Bofors design that it still remains in service today (2014), having seen additional combat service through the many engagements of the Cold War years.

Origins of the storied 40mm Bofors line were seen in an early 1922 initiative by the Swedish Navy to replace its British Vickers 2-pounder anti-aircraft guns. The concern of AB Bofors was charged with design and development of a successor which led to a formal program start in 1928. The first form was made available in 1930 and thoroughly tested through the usual trials for a gun of this type. Early versions were adopted aboard Swedish Navy submarines. A Dutch order in 1934 introduced a twin-gun variant and, the following year, Bofors unveiled a land-based version sporting its own towable wheeled carriage frame for army use - its first customer became the Belgian Army. Formal adoption of this version by the Swedish Army came in 1936.

Due to the growing foreign need for such a gun, Bofors entered in many local-license production contracts with various would-be customers - as was the case with Britain, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Poland, and the United States. In the UK, the weapon was produced by Vickers and known as "Gun, AA, Mk I" with some modifications added to suit local requirements. The American form was the "40mm Gun M1" which remained largely faithful to the original Swedish offering. Polish versions were modified locally as the "40mm Armata Przeciwlotnicza wz. 36".

In practice, several qualities of the Swedish gun made for an excellent overall military product: the action proved reliable and fast while offering a useful rate-of-fire and high muzzle velocity when firing its 40mm projectile. The weapon could engage any and all aircraft of the period with lethal results. A quick-change barrel function allowed overheated barrels to be instantly replaced. The automatic firing action of the gun allowed for sustained fire rates so long as the trigger was pressed and ammunition supplies were properly managed (cassettes/clips were used for feeding the weapon). The mounting hardware of both the land- and naval-based gun versions allowed for a full 360-degree traversal of the gun while elevation angles spanned -5 to +90 degrees. Included optics supplied the necessary assistance when attempting to engage a high-flying, fast-moving aerial target.

Two primary versions ultimately emerged - the original L/60 and the improved, post-war L/70 of 1948. The latter was developed to increase operator hit chances through an increased range and rate-of-fire. The guns differed primarily in the 40mm projectile fired - 40x311mmR versus 40x364mmR respectively - which led to varying performance statistics between the two. The L/60 version held a rate-of-fire of 120 rounds-per-minute versus the L/70's 330 rounds-per-minute. Muzzle velocity between the two was 2,900 feet-per-second and 3,350 feet-per-second respectively. Maximum firing ranges were 23,500 feet to 41,000 feet respectively. The L/60 system weighed 4,670lbs against the L/70's 11,350lb weight.




Bofors 40mm (Series) (Cont'd)

Towed Anti-Aircraft Gun / Air Defense Gun

Bofors 40mm (Series) (Cont'd)

Towed Anti-Aircraft Gun / Air Defense Gun



Production of the gun was seen all across Europe by the time of the start of World War 2 on September 1st, 1939. Local stocks of some countries were augmented by purchase of guns from other suppliers - the British inventory not only featured local Vickers-produced Bofors 40mm guns but also took on deliveries from Bofors guns built in Poland to shore up numbers.

During the war, the 40mm Bofors proved itself unlike any other weapon of the era - seeing operational service with both sides of the conflict across all of the major fronts in the war. Amazingly, Bofors of Sweden produced the gun from 1932 to 2000. German wartime production was handled through Norway at Kongsberg as the 4cm FlaK 28 (Bofors). The guns were held in such high regard that captured systems were quickly reconstituted for service against former owners. All of this was not to say that the Bofors 40mm did not excel in its naval role as an air defense gun for it did. It was equally featured across many warship types - from submarines to light-class vessels to heavier capital ships of the period. The guns were usually coupled to the smaller Swiss 20mm Oerlikons for a truly devastating, and effective, defensive aircraft net.

Its widespread mass production and ammunition availability also ensured it a healthy, long service life into the modern age. Indeed, Bofors 40mm guns were used in the many conflicts that followed World War 2 - the Indo-Pak Wars (1947, 1965, 1971, 1999), the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War (1982), and Gulf War (1991) among others - up to the more modern commitments seen today. The gun has also been adopted aboard gunship aircraft (as in the Lockheed AC-130 "Spectre") and tracked armored vehicles (like the Italian DARDO IFV and the Swedish CV90 IFV).

The 40mm Bofors product eventually fell under the United Defence Industries brand label from 2000 to 2006 until absorbed under the BAe Systems label from 2006 onwards. As such, it remains in production today (2014).




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