Indonesia’s state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL has fully integrated the BAE Systems Bofors 57 Mk3 naval gun on the country’s third and fourth KCR-60M-class (Sampari-class) fast-missile boat (fast attack craft) program, KRI Halasan (630) and KRI Kerambit (627). These 57 mm guns replace the older Bofors 40 mm cannons that were installed in the primary position of both ships. The milestone was marked with a commodore inspection on 27 December. The inspection is part of a process for the Indonesian Navy to verify that the weapons, which were first fitted on the ships in April 2022, are fully functional and integrated into the vessels’ combat systems. Four KCR-60M vessels are currently in service with the Indonesian Navy with a fourth ship scheduled to be operational in 2023.
The Sampari-class fast attack craft is a class of domestically designed and built fast attack craft operated by the Indonesian Navy. The ships are also known as KCR-60M and all ships are built by local company PT. PAL in Surabaya. With a length of 60 meters, the KCR-60 was designed to quickly deploy guided anti-ship missiles against surface combatants and then rapidly and safely withdraw into the region’s archipelagos. The new batch that is already incorporated with the western subsystem and CMS from Terma will use BAE System Bofors 57mm Mk.3 instead. The new batch of this class is expected to be fitted with MBDA anti-ship missile solution, possibly Exocet MM-40 Block III for commonality reasons.
Bofors 57 mm Naval Automatic Gun L/70, among other names, is a series of dual-purpose naval guns designed and produced by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors (since March 2005 part of BAE Systems AB). While the 57 mm cannon may not seem as powerful as larger naval guns, such as the OTO Melara 76 mm, some of its performances are comparable; given its rate of fire and amount of explosive per shell, the Bofors gun actually achieves a higher amount of “explosive fired per second” than the 76 mm. Although the Swedish Navy has been the primary user of the gun, it has been exported widely by Bofors Defence for use by the navies of Brunei, Canada, Croatia, Finland, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, Montenegro, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.
The latest development of the gun is the Mark 3, designed in 1995 for use on the then planned Visby-class corvette. Some of the primary changes include the ability to use Bofors 3P all-target programmable ammunition, the addition of a small muzzle velocity radar housed in a radome externally above the gun barrel for measuring the muzzle velocity of the departing projectiles for fire-control purposes, usually but not necessarily with the new Bofors 57 mm 3P ammunition, the ability to instantly change ammunition types by the use of a dual-feed system, another 1,000 rounds stowed in the standby rack beneath deck, as well as an improved fire control system. The Mark 3 system can also be operated/fired manually without the FC system using a joystick and video camera. The camera is fitted as standard.