7,62 ITKK 31 VKT

7,62 ITKK 31 VKT or 7,62 mm VKT anti-aircraft machine gun was the primary anti-aircraft machine gun of the Finnish Army during World War II. The weapon was designed by the Finnish gunsmith Aimo Lahti. 507 weapons were produced in two versions, 7,62 ItKk/31 VKT and an improved 7,62 ItKk/31-40 VKT, between 1933 and 1944.

7,62 ITKK 31 VKT
Class Manportable
Type Machine Guns
Manufacturer Valtion Kivaaritehdas (VKT)
Production Period 1933 - 1986
Origin Finland
Country Name Origin Year
Finland 1933
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Finland 1941 1944 View
Finland 1939 1940 View
Finland 1944 1945 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Valtion Kivaaritehdas (VKT) 1933 1986 507 View

In the 1920s Finland was a young state, having just attained independence from Russian Empire. As a result of being part of Russia the vast majority of the armaments of the Finnish army was composed of old Tsarist Russian army equipment, and air defence weapons were few and obsolete. As part of the attempt to improve anti-aircraft armament it was decided to develop purpose-built anti-aircraft machine guns for the army since infantry Maxim machine guns were not adequate for the task. A development plan for 1930-1934 called for 125 heavy 13.2 mm machine guns and 125 7.62 mm machine guns. The task for designing the weapons was given to the gunsmith Aimo Lahti.

7,62 ItKk/31 VKT and 7,62 ItKk/31-40 VKT were the most numerous anti-aircraft machine guns used by the Finnish army during World War II. They were used in anti-aircraft machine gun companies and platoons, and later as close defence weapons for anti-aircraft gun batteries. After the war the guns were used in training until the 1960s, and were kept warehoused until 1986, when they were finally declared obsolete. When the guns were removed from inventory there were 467 weapons, of which 41 were in the original 7,62 ItKk/31 VKT configuration. A portion of the guns were given to museums, and rest were scrapped in 1988.

Type Anti-aircraft machine gun
Place of origin Finland
Service history
In service 1933-1986
Used by Finland
Wars Winter War Continuation War

Lapland War
Production history
Designer Aimo Lahti
Designed 1931
Manufacturer VKT (Valtion Kivääritehdas)
Produced 1933-1944
Number built 507
Variants 7,62 ItKk/31-40 VKT
Specifications (7,62 ItKk/31 VKT)
Weight 104 kg (229 lb) with mount

47 kg weapon only
Length 113 cm (44 in)
Barrel length 72.3 cm (28.5 in)
Crew 6
Shell 7.62x53mmR
Barrels 2
Action Short-recoil operation
Carriage M/31 cone mount

M/40 tubular tripod mount
Elevation -10° - 80°
Traverse 360°
Rate of fire 2x 900/minute
Muzzle velocity 800 m/s (2,600 ft/s)
Effective firing range 600 m (2,000 ft)
Maximum firing range 1,000 m (3,300 ft)
Feed system 250-round disintegrating metallic belts
Sights Ring sight

End notes