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Subsystems / Naval systems / 120mm M1950

120mm M1950

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Naval gun turret


    120mm Mk 10 (Dutch service designation)
    12 cm automatkanon M/50 (designation by Bofors)
    120mm Bofors (popular nickname)

    1944 - 1950


    1950 - 1960's

    Sweden - Bofors

    54 turrets produced.


    High rate of fire
    Good accuracy
    Very reliable
    High level of automation
    Very heavy mount
    Large deck penetration
    Complex design
    Very expensive


The 120mm M1950 is an early Cold War era naval gun turret of Swedish origin. It was developed during and after World War 2 by Bofors and produced in the 1950's for use on various classes of destroyers. At the time of development the 120mm M1950 was considered the most advanced and complex naval gun system in production. While being too large and complex the UK navy opted for a simpler and lighter 114mm design.


The M1950 is a twin gun mount with two 120mm L/50 cannon side by side. The mount has a pendulum loader and a flick rammer to obtain a high rate of fire. The guns are fully stabilized and directed by radar control, although local control is possible from a cabin on the right side of the turret. After ramming the shell separates from the cartridge to reduce barrel wear. The complex design and high performance comes at the cost of high weight.


The M1950 fires 120mm rounds specifically developed for this gun. The only type of ammunition is high explosive and it can be time fuzed for use against aircraft. The combined rate of fire is 42 rpm and the effective range is 19.1 km. Compared to other contemporary naval guns the 120mm M1950 had a very high rate of fire, good range and good accuracy.


The M1950 was employed with two turrets on the two Swedish Halland class destroyers and with three turrets on its two derivatives that were built for Colombia. In the Netherlands the M1950 was used on the four Holland and eight Friesland class destroyers built in the 1950's. All Dutch ships used a M1950 turret on the front and the aft deck. Each of the two Tromp class guided missiles destroyers were fitted with a single turret previously used on the Friesland class. Since the Tromp class was decommissioned in 2001 the M1950 is no longer in use.


120mm M1950

Bofors 120mm M1950: This is a large naval twin gun turret. In Swedish service the turret has three launch rails for rocket flares on each side. Originally the turrets weighed a hefty 65 t. By removing the emergency diesel engine, the fuze setting mechanisms and the local fire control equipment this was reduced to 52 t.

TypeNaval gun turret
Armament120mm 50-caliber, 825 m/s muzzle velocity
Rate of fire40 to 45 rpm, 42 rpm standard
Range19.1 km vs surface targets, 9 km altitude vs aircraft
Traverse-150 to +150°, 25°/s
Elevation-10 to +85°, 40°/s
Weight65 t original, 52 t lightened
Fire controlRadar controlled, local fire control


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