‘‘Welcome to hell’’ − that is how the Bofors Test Center (Stand N2-234) introduces itself. The facility was created in 1886 as a firing range to support the Bofors factory in Karlskoga, and today has evolved into a multifaceted establishment that can literally put products ‘‘through hell’’ to establish their limits and rigorously check that they comply with requirements and regulations.
Located in the forests of central Sweden, the core business of the centre is the testing of weapon systems, and it has six permanent test sites. Firing to a range of 25km is available within the confines of the range itself, but by using external facilities, ranges of up to 50km can be achieved.
The centre has on-site charge detonation capabilities of up to five tonnes. Radar, optical tracking and telemetry systems are available, as well as high-speed video, X-ray, sounding station and other recorders.
Environmental testing can be carried out to test products in a wealth of environmental extremes, and the centre is equipped to fully test the resistance of insensitive munitions to fire and impact, as well their resistance to sympathetic reactions.
With its extensive 200km2 range, with restricted airspace up to 30,000ft, the Bofors site offers a cost-efficient test site for small and medium UAVs, with tracking and recording systems in place, and the ability to provide helicopters for tracking and for transport/ recovery.
As well as the testing of new products, the Bofors Test Center assists with lifetime extension decisions by assessing equipment and ammunition as it nears the end of its service life. An accurate assessment may allow the life of the asset to be extended safely. If, however, ammunition has reached the end of its life, the centre has facilities to handle destruction and demilitarisation.
Several methods for safe explosives disposal are available, drawing on the site’s legacy of more than 120 years of handling explosives and ammunition.