Ground Warfare

Royal Thai Army Tests Firing of Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System

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Royal Thai Army Tests Firing of Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System

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Royal Thai Army Tests Firing of Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System
Royal Thai Army Tests Firing of Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System

The Royal Thai Army recently conducted live firing tests of the newly upgraded Bofors 40mm L/70 OES (Opto-Electronic System) equipped with a new fire control system (FCS). Spearheaded by the Army Research and Development Office (ARDO), these tests mark a pivotal moment in Thailand’s military modernization efforts. The firing tests, conducted on April 20, 2024, at the Khao Phu Lon artillery shooting range in Lopburi Province, showcased the firepower and precision of the upgraded Bofors cannons. Utilizing a new domestic modernized FCS, developed through collaborative efforts between ARMISYS Supply Co., Ltd., the Royal Thai Army Welfare Department, and Kasetsart University, the tests involved two Bofors 40mm L/70 OES cannons engaging both stationary and moving aerial targets at a range of 1,000 meters.

Royal Thai Army Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System
Royal Thai Army Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System. (Photo by Royal Thai Army)

This modernization initiative stems from the Royal Thai Army’s commitment to enhancing the efficiency of its military equipment. With an allocated budget of 446,500,000 baht ($13,996,873.07) per unit, the project aims to refurbish and optimize the Bofors anti-aircraft cannons, setting new standards for air defense capabilities. Notably, the project has already delivered upgraded units for training purposes within the 2nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, 2nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment. At the heart of this development is the external fire control system, designed to coordinate the firing of a group of four Bofors 40mm L/70 cannons. Leveraging advanced optics and electronics, this system detects and tracks aerial threats, relaying crucial targeting information to the cannons in real-time.

Royal Thai Army Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System
Royal Thai Army Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System. (Photo by Royal Thai Army)

By facilitating synchronized movements and precise firing commands, the FCS enhances the Royal Thai Army’s ability to engage and neutralize airborne threats effectively. The compatibility of the OES fire control system with both analog synchro and digital signal systems underscores its versatility and adaptability to various operational requirements. This flexibility aligns with the strategic deployment principles of the Combined Battalion of the Air Defense Command, enabling seamless integration into existing defense frameworks. The integration of multiple external fire control systems across anti-aircraft artillery battalions promises to further augment Thailand’s air defense capabilities. This investment in indigenous research and development underscores the Royal Thai Army’s commitment to staying at the forefront of defense innovation.

Royal Thai Army Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System
Royal Thai Army Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System. (Photo by Royal Thai Army)

The Royal Thai Army has been procuring Bofors 40mm L/70 rifles equipped with a Dutch Flycatcher fire control radar since the 1980s. From countering traditional threats to addressing emerging challenges posed by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the upgraded Bofors 40mm L/70 OES represents a formidable asset in Thailand’s defense arsenal. The Bofors 40 mm Automatic Gun L/70, (Bofors 40 mm L/70, Bofors 40 mm/70, Bofors 40/70 and the like), is a multi-purpose autocannon developed by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors (today BAE Systems Bofors) during the second half of the 1940s as a modern replacement for their extremely successful World War II-era Bofors 40 mm L/60 gun-design. It was initially intended as a dedicated anti-aircraft weapon, but has since its conception been redeveloped into a dedicated multi-purpose weapon capable of firing both sabot projectiles and programmable ammunition.

Royal Thai Army Tests Firing of Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System
Royal Thai Army Bofors 40mm L/70 OES with New Fire Control System. (Photo by Royal Thai Army)

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