Ukraine received first L/70 automatic guns to fight drones – Technology Org

Considering its size, Lithuania is one of the strongest supporters of Ukraine in its efforts to defend against the ongoing Russian invasion. Now Ukraine has received several Bofors 40 mm Automatic Guns L/70, which will help shoot down enemy’s drones. It is not a new weapon, but it is definitely an effective one.

On February 11th, Lithuania’s Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anušauskas announced that the first batch of L/70 anti-aircraft guns arrived in Ukraine. It is basically a large 40 mm machine gun, designed to shoot down aerial targets – helicopters and planes.

Nowadays planes can evade such weapons, but the L/70 should not be overlooked, because it is still one of the most popular systems of this kind. Despite the fact that it was developed in the 1940’s.

Big shells flying out of the Bofors 40 mm Automatic Gun L/70.

Big shells flying out of the Bofors 40 mm Automatic Gun L/70. Image credit: Ministério da Defesa via Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

The Bofors 40 mm Automatic Gun L/70 was designed in 1946-1950 and entered service in 1952. However, it is definitely not an antique weapon – the L/70 is still being produced (although Ukraine has received older weapons from Lithuania).

It is a towed multi-purpose autocannon, developed in Sweden to replace similar successful WW2 weapons. With its carriage, it weighs nearly 5 tons, yet is light enough to be transported by regular trucks and off-road vehicles. While the original purpose of the L/70 gun was to shoot aerial targets (like planes, helicopters, and such), it has evolved into a multi-purpose weapon capable of firing both sabot projectiles and programmable ammunition.

It can be effective against lightly (and not so lightly) armored machinery. But Ukraine is likely to use these systems to defend its critical infrastructure against Russian drone attacks.

Suicide drones are relatively slow, but they are also small. Wasting missiles to take them down is a last-resort solution. In many cases, the L/70 would be a more effective defensive weapon against such drone and, possibly, cruise missile attacks. It is not like the L/70 lacks firepower.

Bofors 40 mm Automatic Gun L/70 on a wheeled carriage for towing.  Image credit: Ultra7 via <a rel=Wikimedia”” width=584 height=410 data-ezsrcset=”×506.jpg 720w, .org/texorgwp/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/boforsl70-400×281.jpg 400w,×540.jpg 768w ,×300.jpg 427w, 03/boforsl70.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px” data-ezsrc=×506 .jpg>

The L/70 fires 40 x 365 mm R cartridges. That is a 36.5 cm long cartridge – find yourself a long ruler and see how big that is. Furthermore, the rate of fire is amazing – 240, 300 or 330 rounds per minute makes this weapon extremely effective. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the effective range of the L/70 automatic gun is up to 12.5 kilometers, depending on the ammunition used.

The L/70 is coming to Ukraine from Lithuania, but these automatic guns are in service in so many different countries, including France, Italy (Italians make them themselves), Netherlands, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, and others. This should mean that there is plenty of ammunition and support for these systems.

Sources: , Wikipedia

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