The Bofors 57 mm is a popular naval gun system for small and medium-sized warships.
While not as powerful as larger naval guns, such as the 76 mm OTO Melara, it has some advantages such as rate of fire and amount of explosive per shell, the Bofors gun actually achieves a higher amount of “explosive fired per second” than the 76 mm.
The Bofors 57 mm L/70 naval automatic gun is a series of general-purpose naval guns designed and manufactured by Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors, now part of BAE Systems AB, designed in the late 1960s as a replacement design for the twin-barreled Bofors 57 mm Naval Automatic Gun L/60. Although the Swedish Navy has been the primary user of this gun, it was widely exported by Bofors Defense to many navies. Most recently, the Indonesian Navy announced that it has installed the Bofors 57 Mk3 naval gun system for the 6th KCR-60 fast-missile boat program.
Since its introduction in 1971, the Bofors 57 mm has undergone numerous upgrades and improvements, including the Mk1, Mk2, and Mk3 variants. The Mark 3 is the newest variant of the gun series, launched in 1995 and primarily features the ability to use programmable ammunition.
The Mark 3 was first used on Visby-class corvettes. It retains the same rate of fire and ammunition capacity as the previous Mark 2 system with 220 rounds per minute, slightly higher than the Mk1. On the Mk3 has added a lot of features to make it a modern system. It can use Bofors 3P all-target programmable ammunition. The addition of a small muzzle velocity radar housed in a radome externally above the gun barrel for measuring the muzzle velocity of the departing projectiles for fire-control purposes.
Mk3 has the ability to to instantly change ammunition types by the use of a dual-feed system, another 1,000 rounds stowed in the standby rack beneath deck, as well as an improved fire control system. The Mark 3 system can also be operated manually without the FC system using a joystick and video camera.
The Mk3 also has a low radar profile suitable for the stealth design of new generation warships, allowing the gun to be hidden from radar and plain sight when not in use. The stealth mount is made of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer and has a very distinctive angular, low signature.
The 57 mm Mk3 Bofors was fitted to Visby class corvettes in 2000. Since then, it has also been adopted by many countries such as Finland and the United States. In American service, the United States Navy has designated the Mark 3 as the Mark 110 Mod 0 57mm gun.