The 57 Mk 3 gun in the US Navy received the designation Mk 110 Mod 0
Ship gun Bofors 57 Mk 3, currently in service with the American fleet and the coast guard under the designation Mk 110, is the latest version of the family, dating back to the mid-60s. Let's look at the past, present and future of the ship’s 57-mm guns from the company BAE Systems and the accompanying “smart” 3P universal ammunition.
Medium-caliber gun systems and in modern conditions remain an absolutely necessary element of small surface warships. They are cost-effective weapons, useful in the whole range of operations, ranging from patrols to military operations. Armament of this class is a system of fire with a quick response, has a large and relatively cheap ammunition and offers a differential impact (from warning shots at the nose and before firing at the target).
After a temporary disappearance from the corporate professional language, the name Bofors now returns the lost ground in the field of ship artillery. The name of the Swedish defense company Bofors Weapon Systems AB, which was purchased in 2000, United Defense, and which in turn was acquired by BAE Systems in 2005, has been restored and is now being used again to promote the products of the Swedish company BAE Systems Land and Armaments-Weapon Systems .
Apparently, heritage and traditions are a powerful force in the market. And the Bofors heritage is definitely rich. There is no need to go far, as an example you can take the ship's 57-mm cannon and automatic installation of SAK 57 L / 70 Mk 1, история which dates back to the middle of the 60's. This artillery complex was chosen by eight fleets, manufactured more than 80 systems, most of which are still in service.
The development of the improved 57-mm Mk 2 gun began in the 1977 year. The task was to obtain universal weapons with high rate of fire with effective capabilities to combat air, surface or coastal targets, which could be installed on smaller warships. Putting all this into a compact, lightweight installation, Bofors created a new, fully automatic ammunition processing system, integrated new guidance servos to improve accuracy, developed new types of ammunition and at the same time retained the gun mount, the old Mk 1 magazine design.
In the Mk 2 version, the projectile is fed from the magazine into the ammunition processing system using two parallel lifting mechanisms. By using two supply paths (completely independent of the gun), two different types of ammunition can be ready for use. The automatic reloading system consists of two moving cassettes with a capacity of 20 shots. They are installed in the turret on the guide behind the gun and filled out of the lifts for the shells.
After filling, the cassettes move and stop over the shops that take 20 ready to fire projectiles. Inside the turret there are also two intermediate stores with a capacity of 20 shots each. In total, 120 shells are placed in the turret, which is enough to fire from 15 to 20 targets. The company says that the use of two loading systems (reloading of ready-to-fire stores takes only a few seconds) allows you to almost instantly select ammunition for either airborne or surface targets. Switching between the two types takes less than half a second.
In order to increase the accuracy of the tools, new filtering tools were introduced and the hydraulic system was modernized. A further reduction in the dynamic errors of the servomechanisms was achieved through the use of an internal system of angular velocities of the gyroscope, which provides data on the movement of the ship in the servo system (tracking system). Another characteristic that promotes increased accuracy is damping of oscillations of the trunk; this system automatically compensates for dispersion caused by trunk oscillations during firing. The accuracy of the instrument in azimuth and elevation is 0,4 mrad.
Another development introduced in the version of the Mk 2 gun was a new, lightweight protection of a composite gun with a reduced effective area of reflection. Aluminum has been used in the swinging parts of the carriage, which in practice has reduced the magnetic signature (signs of prominence).
Bofors has developed two types of ammunition for the Mk 2 cannon: with ready-made attack elements with a remote fuse with a range of real fire 3-5 km against missiles and 7 km against aircraft; and a high-explosive high-explosive fragmentation projectile with a time-delay fuse to combat surface targets with a range of real fire up to 17 km. The maximum rate of fire is 220 shots per minute.
The total mass of the gun complex with three-stage lifts and superstructure is about 7 tons. With 1000 rounds of ammunition, the total weight of the complex grows to 13 tons.
Over 40 installations of the Mk 2 have been sold worldwide, including the fleets of Canada, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Sweden.
The development of the 57 variant Mk 3 began at the beginning of the 90-s. The design is based on the mechanics of the Mk 2 version, but new digital interfaces and computers were integrated into the new version for monitoring and testing, forecasting and ballistic calculations. In addition, from the very beginning, they sought to take advantage of the multipurpose functionality provided by the new generation of 57P smart 3-mm ammunition (Prefragmented, Programmable, Proximity-fused - with ready-made attack elements, programmable, with a remote fuse). For example, an initial velocity radar from BAE Systems Australia was installed, which provides data to a fire control computer for calculating ballistics and a meeting point with a target, which allows the Mk 3 to achieve maximum accuracy and fully utilize the capabilities of 3P projectiles.
Also in the Mk 3 version, improved local control features were included. A computer panel can be used as a backup gun control backup device, which can be placed anywhere on the ship. The aim in this mode is a television camera mounted on a swinging carriage. The same equipment can be used for monitoring, as well as sighting of the weapon and tracking device.
As in the Mk 2 version, the 57 Mk 3 turret can be loaded with ready-made 120 rounds. The length of the projectile lifts can be adjusted depending on the size of the vessel (from two to ten steps). The only operational requirement for a vessel is to have a power source (3 x 440 V, 60 Hz or 3 x 400 V, 50 Hz).
The new "invisible" tower was another direction in the development of the Mk 3. It was specially designed to meet the requirements for an ultra-low effective surface area reflecting the new generation of Visby class corvettes of the Swedish fleet. Comprehensive modeling along with detailed design and advanced production methods made it possible to create an angular tower of fiberglass-reinforced metal mesh. The walls of the tower are inclined to reflect the incident radar energy; for the purpose of masking, the barrel itself is lowered and rises only during firing.
In June, 1997 was awarded a contract worth 27,3 million dollars for the development and production of the first four “invisible” 57 installations Mk 3 for the Visby Corvettes program, as well as the fully integrated package materially, by the Swedish Department of Military Property FMV of the company with the former name Bofors Weapon Systems. technical support. FMV later placed orders for three more systems and an unbroken amount of 3P ammunition.
The 57 Mk 3 version with the standard Mk 2 turret received orders from Finnish fleets (4 complex for Hamina class missile ships) and Mexico (4 complex for Durango class coast patrol ships). Both fleets also purchased 3P ammunition. In other fleets, however, the 57 Mk 3 complex met with stiff competition from the 76 / 62 Super Rapid artillery system made by the Italian company OTO Melara.
Breakthrough in the USA
In the United States, Bofors found new sales opportunities for the 57 Mk 3 and in March 1998, it announced that 57 Mk 3 (and its younger brother 40 Mk 3) would be promoted in the United States together with United Defense. The agreement concluded with United Defense was directed to the needs of US forces and customers as part of the sale. weapons and military equipment to foreign countries. Bofors, on the other hand, retained marketing commitments in the rest of the world.
“This alliance came about due to the fact that the US Navy was not satisfied with the mid-caliber guns that they were armed with; United Defense has received a license to manufacture, said Tom Danchik, head of the Mk 110 program at BAE Systems. “So the company with the fleet was looking for something else everywhere.”
“We supported the fleet in the search for alternative solutions to test the market for medium-caliber guns. Perhaps the 57-mm gun Mk 3 had the best performance, and therefore the US Navy decided to demonstrate the system and evaluate the technical support in order to test the possibility of deploying a foreign medium caliber gun that meets the American requirements. ”
In 2002, the 57 Mk 3 installation was brought from Sweden and installed at the United Defense plant in Kentucky. “A comprehensive logistic assessment and technical analysis of the system, completed in 2003, were carried out at the Naval Arms Development Center (NSWC), which showed whether the analysis of alternative solutions corresponded to the published technical documentation,” Danchik continued. “Yes, they showed that it is a reliable system and, moreover, more simple to operate.”
A group from NSWC identified one big plus of the new version - the system is now checked and tested for several hours (previously, it took three days to use shot mockups and tape recorders). The process is simplified by installing applications for testing on the portable computer included in the complex.
In September 2003, the 57 Mk 3 gun mount (which at that time had the designation EX-57 Mk 3) won the qualifying competition for the US Coast Guard NSC program (part of the Deepwater modernization program). By that time, United Defense itself bought Bofors (more precisely Bofors Defense), and the installation, which originally had the designation EX-57 Mk 3, was renamed EX-110 Mod 0.
The US Navy subsequently conducted extensive testing at the NSWC unit in Dahlgren. There have passed the qualification of environmental tests and safety tests of the gun itself and related ammunition 3P. The firing tests of the cannon and ammunition continued throughout the 2004 year (the US Navy purchased a set of practical and 3P ammunition for these tests). At the Potomac River test site, more than 2000 shells were fired; The results were presented in May 2005 by the US Navy Commission for the Security of Arms Systems.
In September 2004, the EX-110 Mod 0 version received its final designation Mk 110 Mod 0. 57-mm ammunition 3P received the designation Mk 295 Mod 0 and 57-mm practical projectile designation Mk 296 Mod 0.
57 Mk 3 is a further development of the Bofors 57 Mk 2. In the photo this installation on board the Malaysian fleet KD Lekiu frigate
The Swedish Visby class corvettes are equipped with 57 Mk 3 guns, characterized by a unique “invisible” turret. For firing on one of the faces of the tower through the special hatch the barrel rises
Selection of a coastal warship
After the Mk 110 gun complex was selected for the US Coast Guard boat program, in 2005, it was also chosen by Lockheed Martin to be installed on Freedom class LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) coastal fighting ships. The following year, General Dynamics (together with Austal USA) also confirmed the choice of installing the Mk 110 for its Independence trimaran LCS. In both cases, the choice was made after the competition.
In 2010, BAE Systems and Oto Melara once again grabbed on equal terms with a batch of 20 LCS, the construction of which was scheduled for 2010-2015 years. The companies Lockheed Martin and Austal USA (took over the leadership in the courts of the class of Independence) still once again chose the Mk 110. Each of these lead contractors will supply 10 ships.
“The installation of the Mk 110 has many advantages that exactly correspond to the targets for fighting surface objects,” said Danchik, “and this is the main reason for choosing LCS vessels. High rate of fire and double feed of ammunition are "fat" pluses. But the main advantage of the new installation is the 3P ammunition, which has a time mode that allows you to fight against more complex targets, for example, a massive attack of small boats. ”
The time function of 3P allows you to precisely program the point of explosion of the projectile in advance. “Most of the time you can’t use direct fire because you don’t know the exact coordinates of the target, only the general location,” said Danczyk. - That is, this mode allows you to distribute the striking elements over the target - a queue of 10 shells allows you to cover an area of 4000 square meters. ”
“You can do the same in shooting mode for aerial targets. Essentially, 3P allows you to create a "vertical" wall of lead, which has a detrimental effect on the speed and maneuver of the target. Another important factor when choosing an instrument for LCS are the requirements for the mass and volume of the instrument. With a mass of just over 15 000 pounds, the Mk 110 is about 4 tons lighter than its competitor — the OTO Melara 76 / 62 Super Rapid gun range — and occupies a much smaller amount of underdeck space. This opens the way to its installation on a wide range of platforms, a common gun and ammunition for many platforms allows you to make purchases in relatively large quantities and, consequently, reduce the purchase price, ”Danchik continued.
“You also need to consider reliability, ease of maintenance, and total cost of ownership. According to our estimates, the Mk 110 cannon is three times more reliable, easier to repair and requires maintenance in half the size of its main competitor. For example, you can remove the shutter in less than 30 minutes. Sailors love this gun because it is much easier to maintain and easier to work with. ”
“What else can be noted here is the current availability of infrastructure for simulators, user documentation and technical publications. We have a Mk 110 cannon integrated with multiple fire control systems on American ships, such as the Mk 160, Dorna and TACTICOS. ”
57-mm ammunition 3P in the US Navy received the designation Mk 295 Mod 0
BAE Systems Land and Armaments in Louisville has established very close working relationships with its subsidiary from the Swedish city of Karlskog, which owns the rights to the system project. “Almost 100% of parts are made in Sweden,” said Danczyk, “although we are gradually translating the dataset into the US, mainly for the production of spare parts.”
“For the coast guard ships, about half of the production and assembly work is performed in Sweden with final assembly and integration in Louisville. Then, just before the delivery, test shots are conducted in Dahlgren ”.
Work is also underway to transfer the production of the Mk 295 Mod 0 projectile to the United States.
“All previous 3P ammunition contracts were executed in Sweden. However, as regards the fulfillment of current contracts, we gradually transfer production to the USA. ”
“This is a multi-stage work. In the first stage, in the next two years, we will bring components from Sweden for assembly domestically. Ultimately, the customer wants us to transfer as much as possible the volume of the production process in order to meet the requirements of the American supplier. According to the plan, it is necessary to transfer almost 100% of the production of components in the USA, only the fuse will be delivered from Sweden for the time being. ”
BAE Systems has completed the delivery of the first Mk 110 Mod 0 ship complex for the Coast Guard in January 2006. Today, the company has manufactured five coast guard complexes, four for the NSC boat program and one (installed in Dahlgren) for training.
In August, 2012 announced a contract worth more than 20 million for the supply of two more Mk 110 Mod 0 guns for the fleet and the US Coast Guard, plus technical support. Delivery will take place in 2014 year, one complex is intended for the fifth NSC boat, while the second complex will be installed at the training base of the fleet in Virginia for training on how to work with it and its maintenance.
It is planned to build eight boats NSC; Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in June 2013 was entrusted with the purchase of materials with a long term application for the seventh ship. In addition, the US Coast Guard confirmed that the Mk 110 was chosen as the base weapon for the promising OPC patrol boat (Offshore Patrol Cutter). OPC is currently at the concept development stage with contractor selection planned for 2015-2016 years. It is planned to build a class of 25 ships.
As for the Mk 110 for LCS coastal warships, BAE Systems has so far produced eight guns (four for each LCS group). She has firm contracts for 8 complexes (two lots of 4), plus option contracts for 2014-2015 (every year on 4, two and two).
By combining existing orders and projected contracts (for planned NSC, LCS, and OPC programs), BAE Systems expects up to 90 shipboard Mk 110 shipments. “We are going to increase the total through the arms sales program to foreign countries,” said Danczyk. - The main market we are currently looking at is Saudi Arabia. There, defense against massive attacks is set as the highest priority, so they are interested in buying the Mk 110 for their fleet and coast guard. ”
Although the US Navy is quite satisfied according to some data with the Mk 110 complex and the accompanying Mk 295 ammunition, BAE Systems began exploring possible improvements that would further increase the likelihood of hitting the target. According to Danchik, discussions are going on around the implementation of the pre-programmed fragmentation cones.
“This feature, which Bofors has already demonstrated in Sweden and Finland. Computer-controlled fragmentation of the fragments, optimized for different types of purposes, can be automatically selected in order to achieve a higher probability of damage. "
Selective Impact: 3P programmable ammunition reduces six functions into one
The 3P ammunition (programmable, pre-fragmented and proximity-fuzed - programmable, with ready-on attack elements, with a remote fuse) of 57-mm caliber, in the US Navy designated as Mk 295 Mod 0, described by BAE Systems as “one shell for all threats ". In fact, it allows the 57 Mk 3 gun mount to hit different types of targets, air, surface or ground, without having to switch between different types of ammunition.
When firing, six modes are programmed individually using an electronic fuse programmer connected to a fire control computer and several sensors on the gun. The fire control computer provides the remote fuze programmer with information about the flight time to the target, and the flight time and the duration of the release of striking elements are entered into the fuse in turn.
Six alternative 3P modes of operation include: controllable remote function (primary anti-missile anti-missile mode) aviation and helicopters); controlled remote function with priority of strike (large airplanes and helicopters); continuous remote function (default mode for airborne targets); temporary function (formation of a cloud of fragments over unarmored ground targets, shelter helicopters and small vessels); shock function (trucks, armored personnel carriers, small vessels); and armor-piercing function (lightly armored vehicles).
Each 57-mm 3P projectile weighs 2,4 kg and consists of a six-mode programmable fuse, a pre-fragmented projectile body containing a plastic PBX explosive (460 grams) and tungsten splinters (around 8000), a brass sleeve and an electric primer. The Mk 295 projectile is qualified as an insensitive munition in accordance with the MIL-STD-2105B standard.
BAE Systems Bofors from the Swedish city of Karlskoga in 2012 for the 3P line began the development of a second-generation smart programmable fuse. Although the new fuse is originally intended to overcome the obsolescence of components in the original design, it will also improve manufacturability, reduce costs, and allow software upgrades to improve functionality.
According to BAE Systems, the rapid development of microelectronics means that a number of components for the current 3P fuse are no longer being produced. As a result, the company is currently developing a new, more powerful integrated processor that will replace the previously analog functions and parameters by updating the software. Updating the software will also help to maintain the “relevance” of new ammunition.
Whenever possible, the new version of the 3P projectile fuse will have only commercially available components in order to avoid dependence on suppliers and take full advantage of proven components that are available in mass quantities. The digital technological environment will also simplify control in the production process and will reduce the time for its preparation. Qualification of a new ammunition for compliance with specifications will begin in the 2014 year in order to obtain a new 3P missile ready for serial production by the middle of the 2015 year.
An 3P air blast has a devastating effect on a surface target (above).
The Waesche Coast Guard launches hands-on shooting with the 57-mm Mk 110 cannon during the CARAT 2012 Philippines exercise in July 2012.
Malaysia chooses 57 Mk 3 for SGPV-LCS
BAE Systems in April 2013 announced the sale of six 57 Mk 3 ship guns under the SGPV-LCS program (Second Generation Patrol Vessel-Littoral Combat Ships - second generation coastal patrol ships) for a Malaysian fleet worth approximately 57 million dollars.
The contract, placed on submission by Contraves Advanced Devices (a joint venture of Boustead Heavy Industries and Rheinmetall Air Defense AG), also includes projectile lifters, simulators and initial support.
According to BAE Systems, the first 57 Mk 3 cannon will be ready for delivery from Karlskoga to the Boustead Naval Shipyard in the middle of 2015. As the program develops, it is planned to use the Malaysian industry as a joint venture BHIC Bofors Asia (owned by Boustead Defense Technologies Cooperation Bhd and BAE Systems Bofors Holdings in equal shares). BHIC Bofors Asia was established in 2004, its branches in Kuala Lumpur, Lumut and Kota Kinabalu serve weapons and supply spare parts to the Malaysian fleet and the Navy Agency.
According to BAE Systems, BHIC Bofors Asia could initially produce components as part of a global logistics strategy. The subsequent transfer of technology will allow to assemble and test guns, as well as to expand the existing service system.
Ship 57-mm gun Mk 110 Mod 0