An old weapon against new drones. Bofors L70 upgrade option developed in India

An old weapon against new drones. Bofors L70 upgrade option developed in India

A prototype of the upgraded Bofors L70 cannon

In recent years, India has been able to learn from experience how dangerous small lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles can be and how difficult they are to deal with. In this regard, the forces of different organizations are now developing different versions of complexes to repel such a threat. The modernized anti-aircraft gun Bofors L70, the new capabilities of which are provided by a set of modern devices, becomes the next model in this series.

New designs

One of the most active developers of anti-UAV systems in India is Zen Technologies Limited (Hyderabad). Previously, she created, presented and conducted through a full cycle of tests a specialized mobile complex of electronic reconnaissance and combat Zen Anti Drone System (ZADS). In August, the Indian Ministry of Defense issued the company the first order for the serial production of an unnamed number of such complexes.

Last year, Zen Technologies began work on means of destroying air targets. With the assistance of other organizations and companies, she developed a project to modernize the old Bofors L70 anti-aircraft gun with a 40-mm automatic gun. Due to a set of modern devices, an increase in the accuracy of shooting at small targets is ensured, and the effectiveness of destruction is increased with the help of a new ammunition.

The first test and demo shooting using the new version of the L70 took place on September 17 at one of the Indian training grounds. A few days later, the following test firing took place. In both events, combat crews of anti-aircraft artillery were involved, having undergone the necessary training. Representatives of the command followed the course of the shooting.

As reported, the tracking of the air situation and the detection of a small-sized target was carried out by the calculation of the ZADS complex. The latter identified the UAV control channel, determined the direction to the target and, using an optoelectronic station, specified the coordinates and range to the target. Then the data was transferred to the artillery installation. She quickly aimed her gun and opened fire. Only a few seconds passed from the moment the target was detected until it was hit.

Complex ZADS

During such tests, the Bofors cannon once again confirmed its characteristics. The new components of the installation also showed their best side. A commercial UAV with a diameter of 600 mm was detected at a great distance and hit from 500 m.

Modernization Methods

In the tests, a prototype is used, rebuilt from the serial L70 installation in a stationary version. It has a cruciform support with jacks, on which a platform with a tool, calculation points and a shield cover of a complex shape rotates. All these units are used practically unchanged.

The installation is based on a 40-mm automatic cannon. It has a 2,8 m long rifled barrel with a flame arrester; the automation uses the energy of the barrel rollback. Unitary shots 40x365 mm R are used in cassettes of 4 pcs. Technical rate of fire - 240 rds / min. The tabular muzzle velocity exceeds 1 km / s. The standard installation provides circular firing in azimuth and elevation angles up to 90 °.

The project from Zen Technologies provides for the use of a new complex of electronic means for fire control and guidance. So, an antenna device appears above the gun barrel, probably a meter for the initial velocity of a projectile or a fuse control device. To the right of the cannon, on the shield cover, there is an armored casing with an optoelectronic station. On the left there is a rod with a standard gunner's sight.

The features of the equipment inside the shield have not yet been disclosed. In the course of previous upgrades, Indian L70s received electronic fire control systems with monitors for displaying information, remote controls and electric aiming drives. Probably, all these devices were saved in the new project, but they were supplemented with new devices.

Installation of the L70 of the Indian army in the original configuration

To improve the firing qualities of the installation, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has developed a new round based on a high-explosive fragmentation projectile with a proximity fuse. The type of fuse is not specified. Perhaps it is triggered by the command of the OMS of the cannon when it is near the target. The UAV is struck by a cloud of 1000 tungsten elements. Tests have shown that such ammunition is quite capable of hitting small air targets.

Promising complex

The anti-aircraft gun presented for testing is of some interest. Zen Technologies has proposed a fairly simple and cheap, but at the same time effective and convenient way to deal with the current threat in the form of small-sized UAVs. It combines old and affordable components that reduce the cost of the complex, with new units that increase the main characteristics.

The exact tactical and technical characteristics of the upgraded L70 complex remain unknown. At the same time, its speed and ability to hit small-sized targets at a distance of hundreds of meters are shown. The general capabilities of the new shot from BDL have also been confirmed.

It should be noted that the upgraded Bofors installation is not used independently, but in conjunction with the ZADS system. It is this radio equipment that provides the detection of subtle targets and gives target designation to the gun. Tests have shown that such a complex is quite capable of solving the assigned tasks, at least in the gentle conditions of the landfill.

If adopted, the serial L70s should be reduced to batteries under the control of one command post with electronic reconnaissance equipment. Such a unit will be able to detect and hit different UAVs at a sufficient distance, showing the minimum reaction time. At the same time, the speed of the complex makes it possible to count on the reflection of even massive raids.

It should be noted that the proposed modernization is useful not only from the point of view of combating UAVs. With the correct organization of combat work, the updated L70 will be able to more effectively fight helicopters, low-flying aircraft and even ground targets. The ability to solve such problems will be determined by the characteristics and composition of the air defense control loops.

Anti-aircraft gun after the previous upgrade

Apparently, in the near future, the Indian Ministry of Defense and Zen Technologies will conduct new tests, the results of which will decide the fate of the new project. If the anti-UAV complex continues to show the same characteristics as in the first tests, then an order for acceptance into service and the launch of mass production should be expected.

Threat and protection

India is already well aware of the threat in the form of light small-sized UAVs. Such a technique was to the taste of smugglers from the eastern states, and with its help, illegal cargo traffic is carried out across the border. In addition, small Drones have already been used as carriers of warheads to attack military targets.

The Indian military is well aware of how important the means to protect against UAVs are. Several radio systems for this purpose have been developed, and some have even been put into service. Now they pay attention to means of destruction, and the course is immediately taken to integrate new samples for various purposes with obtaining beneficial results.

A promising project from Zen Technologies opens up new opportunities for the Indian army. In service with the ground forces, according to various sources, there are at least 1200 Bofors L70 installations in towed and stationary versions. OK. 200 have been modernized in recent years with the installation of control electronics and electric drives.

These products can be carried through the next stage of updating - and get modern air defense systems of the near zone with wide capabilities. However, it is unlikely that all the existing L70s will be upgraded. This will be prevented by the considerable cost of such a program, and besides, all installations are of considerable age, and many of them are inappropriate to update in any way.

However, even the appearance of a limited number of modernized Bofors L70 can significantly change the state and potential of the air defense of the ground forces and improve the protection of at least certain areas. In addition, a project from Zen Technologies and Bharat Dynamics has already solved one important problem. He showed the fundamental possibility of restructuring an outdated sample into a modern complex capable of hitting complex targets. Perhaps this approach will find application again in the future and will also affect the development of the Indian army.
Our news channels

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. +4
    5 October 2021 18: 22
    Well, yes, the idea is good, only the implementation is lame. 500 meters is nothing, you need to hit an UAV from a range of at least 3000 meters, and you also need to hit kamikaze drones and small-sized missiles. And, for this we need ammunition with remote detonation. And the caliber 40 mm is the right thing for working on the above purposes.
    1. 0
      5 October 2021 19: 13
      Quote: Thrifty
      And the caliber 40 mm is the right thing for working on the above purposes.
      IMHO, to fight drones, you need to restore large-caliber anti-aircraft artillery (100-130 mm) in order to hit UAVs with a shock wave: UAVs are small, they can slip between the fragments, and you cannot slip through the shock wave. In addition, then all sorts of bayraktars will be in the service area.
      1. +2
        5 October 2021 21: 44
        In this case, you will have to invent a tandem two-link self-propelled gun. In the first link there is a turret with an anti-aircraft gun of medium caliber 100-130 mm, and on the trailer there is ammunition and a radar with an additional MANPADS, in the image and likeness of the polar "Magnolia" with a mortar.
        1. 0
          6 October 2021 08: 29
          The manufacturer has so far posted on the network only a video with the Zen Anti Drone System.
      2. -1
        6 October 2021 14: 11
        Quote: bk0010
        hit the UAV with a shock wave: UAVs are small, they can slip between the fragments,

        belay sad request what "Klava, I'm lying!"
        1. +1
          6 October 2021 19: 05
          Almost finished 130 mm antiaircraft gun made by "Coast".
    2. 0
      5 October 2021 20: 06
      Dashingly - trouble is the beginning. Now 500. Then the range will grow.
      And the idea is good. Correct idea.
      PS And against the "bayraktar", most likely the missile defense system will have to be used. Wrong class.
    3. +2
      6 October 2021 07: 31
      Quote: Thrifty
      And the caliber 40 mm is the right thing for working on the above purposes.

      Effective altitude - 4000m. It is not enough. And even 6000 is already a weak indicator. I think that in the end we will come to automatic guns of 76-85 mm. Especially considering that advanced countries are actively engaged in the development of not very expensive decoys or decoy missiles (as they call it) in the hope of exceeding the capabilities of traditional air defense based on missiles.
      1. +1
        6 October 2021 14: 53
        Quote: Hagen
        in the end we will come to automatic guns 76-85 mm

        At the end of the last century, the return of medium and even large caliber anti-aircraft guns was "wanged"! This was due to the emergence of the "helicopter threat"! However, it "resolved"! At the present time, indeed, the performance characteristics of UAVs are very reminiscent of the performance characteristics of aircraft of the 40s in terms of speed, altitude ... that is, the period when anti-aircraft artillery of medium and large calibers was considered quite effective ... But .. . "everything flows and changes"! Let's say some "military organization" invested in the production and acquisition of such artillery ... and the concept of unmanned aircraft ... just changed! 1.Priority will be transferred to the reactive high-speed UAV; 2. UAV armament will become long-range and drones will begin to use it, as previously wrote .... "without entering the enemy's air defense zone ..."; 3. Active timely detection of anti-aircraft weapons and their suppression with anti-missile missiles, other high-precision weapons, electronic warfare means ...
        Such use of UAVs is possible ... At the beginning, a massive attack on the identified "anti-aircraft guns" will be inflicted by high-speed jet drones ("first wave"); and the "second wave" ("third" ...) will be propeller-driven drones, which are now actively spreading! But they are accompanied by "rocket crews", loitering in the second order ... In case of "manifestation" of the surviving anti-aircraft weapons, jet UAVs with appropriate weapons enter the battle again, and the "vintari" temporarily retreat to the second order ... then everything changes! It was then that the value of anti-aircraft artillery of medium ... large calibers will be significantly leveled!
    4. 0
      7 October 2021 17: 42
      well, according to the article, it seems like they intercepted with the help of remote detonation of shells
  2. +8
    5 October 2021 18: 34
    The right way. Projectiles with a pre-programmable fuse are much cheaper than missiles. Moreover, unlike an air defense system, such an installation is more than capable of firing at ground targets. Recall that during World War II, the Germans actively used 20mm and 37mm anti-aircraft guns to fire at enemy positions. 40mm BBshka will upset any APC or BMP.
    I think the problem is different. modern UAVs can be equipped with HELLFAIER ATGMs, with a range of 8 + km.
    A 40mm installation with such an effective range to ensure that the UAVs are hit before they launch the Hellfire is NOT possessed. The Indians have the right idea, but I don't think the caliber is enough.
    The same Bofors produces a powerful but compact 57mm cannon, and ammunition specifically designed to defeat anti-ship missiles. This installation has an effective range of 8700m. Which allows her to hit the UAV before it launches Hellfire
    Moreover, the 57mm projectile is even more effective against ground targets.
    Everything new is well forgotten old. At one time, the Italians created the Otomatic SZU, installing a 76mm naval cannon on the OF40 tank chassis. It turned out more than well. Then they refused from OTOMATIK, they say the air defense systems are more effective, but when OTOMATIK was created there was no threat of a UAV with Hellfire.

    It seems to me that the fight against UAVs is the lot of powerful automatic cannons of 57-76mm caliber. Because missiles are obtained almost more expensive than the UAV itself. And again - the ability to shoot at ground targets. A burst of 76mm HE shells will upset the enemy infantry, and the shaitan mobiles and firing points, by the way EMNIP, the OTOMATIK's armor-piercing projectile penetrates 130mm of armor from a distance of 2km. This is enough to send any BMP or armored personnel carrier to the next world.
    1. +1
      7 October 2021 17: 44
      if an uav carries a helfair missile, then it is much more expensive than a missile ... talking about mini-drones, a la Babaev's handicrafts
  3. +5
    5 October 2021 18: 47
    ... The UAV is struck by a cloud of 1000 tungsten elements.

    India is a rich country! :) There are just heaps of tungsten! :)
  4. -3
    5 October 2021 20: 07
    Normally, the topic was just to hand over junk for scrap metal, but why throw it out, pump it a bit and everything works) THE QUESTION is only how much this pumping will be enough laughing
    1. +1
      7 October 2021 18: 17
      What "Rubbish"? 40mm anti-aircraft guns, in a modernized form, are still used in many navies of NATO and other countries. The Italians, for example, made an excellent marine double-barreled gun DARDO. Especially for the fight against aircraft and surface targets and anti-ship missiles.
  5. 0
    6 October 2021 06: 11
    Competently what to say.
    In our warehouses, there are probably also a bunch of anti-aircraft guns lying around.
    But no, ours are not interested. Better we will reinvent the "wheel" from scratch for years. This way you can master more money.
    1. 0
      7 October 2021 11: 12
      Well, Zu-23 is used everywhere
      1. +1
        7 October 2021 18: 19
        I think that if you dig in the warehouses, then even 85mm anti-aircraft guns can be found :-). Another thing is shells. A pre-programmable fuse can be inserted into a 40mm projectile, and the installer of this fuse can be pressed onto the barrel of the cannon, as the Italians do. You can't put a shell into a 23mm shell. Little space.
  6. 0
    6 October 2021 07: 16
    In both events, combat crews of anti-aircraft artillery were involved, having undergone the necessary training.
    That is, the calculations remained in place ... and even the memory is stationary ... In this configuration, it is a stillborn idea.
    At the same time, its speed and ability to hit small-sized targets at a distance of hundreds of meters are shown.
    Hundreds of meters ... not even a kilometer, that is, this memory should be located tens of meters from the covered object, on which not only the UAV will work, but the same artillery and part of the shells will fly to the anti-aircraft gunners, but how they are protected from explosions and shell fragments ?
  7. +1
    6 October 2021 08: 56
    What does it mean to choose the right caliber. For 100 years it will soon be in service.
    1. 0
      7 October 2021 17: 45
      rather, on the contrary, they use what is
  8. 0
    6 October 2021 08: 57
    IMHO a stillborn idea.
    To ensure the maximum sectors of fire, it is advisable to place this towed AU openly on the top of the highest point in the environs without the ability to quickly move it. A lot of electronic adaptations, with misalignment when towing. And more than modest reach in range and height, with the existing parameters of attack UAVs.
    Separately, about the ZSU 76-85-mm. The Italians used the MBT base. Expensive, and the lightweight chassis does not hold the load. In addition, ZSUs cannot (should not) be used by car, only by battery, which implies some kind of rear and general control systems, well, at least the Skyguard level.
    The ability to hit an attack drone at high altitude is vanishingly small, the costs are very high, if we are to make a mobile anti-UAV anti-aircraft artillery system, then it should be anti-aircraft missile, with RK-control.
  9. +1
    6 October 2021 10: 16
    Quote: bk0010
    Quote: Thrifty
    And the caliber 40 mm is the right thing for working on the above purposes.
    IMHO, to fight drones, you need to restore large-caliber anti-aircraft artillery (100-130 mm) in order to hit UAVs with a shock wave: UAVs are small, they can slip between the fragments, and you cannot slip through the shock wave. In addition, then all sorts of bayraktars will be in the service area.

    really from a cannon to sparrows
  10. +2
    6 October 2021 10: 17
    Quote: Avior
    ... The UAV is struck by a cloud of 1000 tungsten elements.

    India is a rich country! :) There are just heaps of tungsten! :)

    I was surprised too. shoot with tungsten on the plastic fake.
  11. +4
    6 October 2021 13: 42
    57mm C-60 was even better. With the new SU and projectiles with DV (Baikal module), there will be a wunderwolf against light aircraft for stationary positions.

"Right Sector" (banned in Russia), "Ukrainian Insurgent Army" (UPA) (banned in Russia), ISIS (banned in Russia), "Jabhat Fatah al-Sham" formerly "Jabhat al-Nusra" (banned in Russia) , Taliban (banned in Russia), Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia), Anti-Corruption Foundation (banned in Russia), Navalny Headquarters (banned in Russia), Facebook (banned in Russia), Instagram (banned in Russia), Meta (banned in Russia), Misanthropic Division (banned in Russia), Azov (banned in Russia), Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Russia), Aum Shinrikyo (banned in Russia), AUE (banned in Russia), UNA-UNSO (banned in Russia), Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (banned in Russia), Legion “Freedom of Russia” (armed formation, recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation and banned)

“Non-profit organizations, unregistered public associations or individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent,” as well as media outlets performing the functions of a foreign agent: “Medusa”; "Voice of America"; "Realities"; "Present time"; "Radio Freedom"; Ponomarev; Savitskaya; Markelov; Kamalyagin; Apakhonchich; Makarevich; Dud; Gordon; Zhdanov; Medvedev; Fedorov; "Owl"; "Alliance of Doctors"; "RKK" "Levada Center"; "Memorial"; "Voice"; "Person and law"; "Rain"; "Mediazone"; "Deutsche Welle"; QMS "Caucasian Knot"; "Insider"; "New Newspaper"