By U.S. ArmyApril 26, 2019
Known as the Bofors, this light antiaircraft gun was originally developed in Sweden and was adopted by many other countries. The U.S. Army used the M1 during World War II. It was designed to be fired with the wheels raised, the carriage lowered to the ground, and the outriggers spread for stability.
The Standard in Air Defense Systems
The Bofors was the standard anti-aircraft gun system for Allied nations during World War II. After the war, many other nations acquired the weapon system for their air defense network. At its peak, the Bofors was exported and licensed to almost 100 operators around the world. It remains in service in many nations today.
Developed in Sweden, the Bofors was a stationary to semi-mobile anti-aircraft air defense weapon. The initial production units were capable of firing over 23,000 feet, with revised variants capable of firing up to 41,000 feet. Initial production variants fired at a rate of 120 rounds per minute, while the updated versions exceeded 300 rounds per minute.
Toward the end of World War II and after, the Bofors design was licensed to both the United States and Britain. More than 25 variants were produced, with total units produced exceeding 150,000. At least 60,000 L/60 variants were produced before the war ended in 1945.
Today, the Bofors is still used in nations around the world, including the United States. Most recently, 40mm L/60 variants have been fitted to AC-130U "Spooky II" gunships. Fitting of the Bofors to AC-130s began in 1970 with the first production AC-130A. The AC-130U is the last gunship variant to use the Bofors, and subsequent models will use a 30mm GAU-23 cannon instead.