Lithuania has decided to assist Ukraine in the fight against Russian Geran kamikaze drones. For this, Vilnius will transfer to Kyiv 36 anti-aircraft systems and Bofors L70 40 mm automatic anti-aircraft guns, decommissioned by the Lithuanian army but in good working order. This was stated by the Defense Minister of Lithuania, Arvydas Anushauskas.
Lithuania has prepared 36 L70 Bofors anti-aircraft guns for shipment and has also trained Ukrainian military personnel in handling these anti-aircraft systems. The Lithuanians have not directly trained anti-aircraft gun crews but have instead trained instructors who will train the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The 40 mm Bofors L/70 autocannon is a multirole autocannon developed by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors (now BAE Systems Bofors) during the second half of the 1940s as a modern replacement for their extremely successful Bofors gun design 40mm L/60 from the WWII era.
Initially, it was conceived as a specific anti-aircraft weapon sold as the Bofors 40mm Automatic AA Gun L/70. Still, since its conception, it has become a specific multi-purpose weapon capable of firing disposable projectiles and programmable ammunition.
As a result, the Bofors 40mm L/70 design was never as widely used or remembered as the earlier L/60 type. But it has been widely exported and is still quite popular; over 40 countries use it now. In fact, by November 1953, it had become a de facto NATO standard.
Various variations exist for land and sea use, and it is still being manufactured and sold (by BAE Systems AB since March 2005). In particular, the Bofors 40/70B “light armored vehicle variant” is mounted on the Swedish Strf 9040 and the Korean K21 infantry fighting vehicles.
Like other Bofors autocannons, the Bofors 40mm L/70 is built on the same fundamental action as the original Bofors 40mm L/60 autocannon, which is a self-expelling, bolt-action barrel with a powered autoloader. Because they were both retracted into the same receiver, they appear to be identical.
Despite this, the Bofors 40mm L/70 is an independent designer with several important changes compared to its predecessor.
The most superficial changes are the increased length of the L/70 barrel, the double cooling grid in the jacket, and the weapon is prepared for a more powerful 40×365mmR cartridge (versus the 40×311mmR of the Bofors 40mm L/60).
Most important, however, is the new ejection system, which ejects empty shells on the non-feed side, compared to the ejection system of the 40mm L/60, which ejects shells directly from the rear of the weapon. This system change nearly doubled the previous system’ssystem’s mechanical fire rate.
Although the Bofors 40 mm L/70 is an independent development of the older Bofors 40 mm L/60, the similarities and success between the two guns have led to both being known simply as the “Bofors” or “Bofors 40 gun” mm,” which sometimes causes them to be confused as the same weapon.