Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mk110 57 mm Gun - Hit or Misfire?

The Bofors Mk110 57 mm gun is the standard armament on the LCS. 

A recent Navy Times report (30-May-12) stated that of 840 rounds fired from LCS-1's Mk110 gun, there have been 2 misfires.  That's a misfire rate of 1 every 420 rounds or 0.2% which, on the face of it, seems pretty good.  However, thinking about it a bit more I wonder if that's acceptable.

The Bofors data sheet credits the gun with a rate of fire of 220 rounds per minute.  If a misfire occurs every 420 rounds, that means the gun will misfire every 1 min:54 sec of use.  If an anti-ship missile (the data sheet claims this capability) or small craft swarm is inbound and the gun has to be stopped and cleared every 420 rounds (less than 2 min of firing) that's potentially a good way to have a bad day.

Mk110 57 mm Gun - Hit or Misfire?

Now, before anyone, myself included, gets too wound up about this, let's note that this is a very small amount of data to be drawing conclusions.  Greater experience with the gun may show better performance;  on the other hand, it may show worse.  Also, the amount of time to clear the gun is unknown to me.  If the entire clearance procedure takes one second and happens automatically, that's not too bad a problem.  If, however, it takes several seconds or minutes or longer, or requires manual intervention, then this is a potentially serious problem.

Maybe a reader can shed some light on this?


  1. like every "atomatic" gunsystem the problem is the same: the more you use them, the better they work! It has to do with warming up hydraulics and clearing humidity out of the system...the problem is also that there is no man in the loop anymore, unlike for example the older french Creusot-Loire M68 100mm cannonsystem that still had personnel in the turret that could react instantly.68 rds/min of 100mm shells, some show!

  2. How long does it take to clear and reset the Gun? Would the gun fire "fully auto" continuously or burst fire? Would the gun fire at that (maximum?) rate until it run dry of ammo or jams? How many ready and stored rounds are kept? How long does it take to resupply the ready ammo? Just questions of the type that I would ask if I'm the end user or a chief of design on the 57mm. Looking forward to responses.

    1. As you might imagine, there is relatively little detailed information available for the Mk110. The gun can fire in continuous, burst, or single shot mode with ammo type being selected on the fly. The ready ammo supply is 120 rds. Beyond that, I don't really have answers.

      Did you have a point to make or were you just looking for info?

  3. The gun fires in bursts. It only takes a few seconds to take out a missile.