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Draco B1 76mm SPAAG self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

The Centauro Draco is a SPAAG prototype to test the Draco weapon system on the Centauro 8x8 platform. The Draco weapon system primary function is the air defense against rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft firing 76mm DART guided ammunition, but can support other roles such as Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM).

The earliest development of the 76 mm rapid-fire gun was the Italian Otto Melera company. Based on the 76mm rapid-fire naval gun, the company successively developed two generations of 76mm self-propelled guns, "OTOMATIC" and "Draco". The former adopted a medium tracked chassis, which came out in the 1980s; while the latter adopted an 8x8 armored wheeled chassis, which is a new generation of 76mm self-propelled artillery, and its overall technical performance has been greatly improved. The previous Otomatic turret was much heavier and needed a tank chassis. Weight of the Draco turret was significantly reduced due to improvements in electronics over the last two decades. It also uses more compact onboard radar.

In adapting the firm's 76 mm automatic naval gun to AFVs, this is similar to the much bigger and heavier OTOmatic of the 1980s which needed a tank chassis to take the weight. Draco uses a new mechanism which saves a lot of weight, plus a more compact onboard radar and FCS.

The DRACO is a remotely operated weapon station with multi-purpose role against Air, R.A.M. and Surface targets, with high performance direct or indirect fire. The weapon station is installable on 8x8 wheeled platforms, for combat support operations or convoy defence, or on shelterfor point defence. The main armament consists of a 76mm/62 gun with an automatic ammunition loading system, electrically controlled for elevation and traversing, stabilized in elevation, with high rate offire. The main armament and the automatic loading system are fully compatible with all in service 76mm rounds and also with 76 mm DART guided ammunition.

The ammunition loading system is based on a drum, in oscillating mass, with 12 ready-to-fire rounds. The 12 rounds can be of different types and ammunition's selection can be performed during firing. The drum can be reloaded automatically, from a magazine in the back of the turret. The Weapon station turret is fitted for receiving a secondary armament composed by a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun coaxially mounted. A Day/Night Electro-optical Sight System, equipped.

Judging from the design and positioning of the "Draco" 76mm self-propelled artillery was the most suited to the task to be responsible for the accompanying escort for the logistics transport team. According to the combat scenario of the Italian company Otto Melera, a complete "Dragon" 76mm self-propelled artillery company includes 4 artillery vehicles and 1 search radar vehicle, which are located in the front, middle, and rear parts of the logistics transport convoy. In this way, no matter the entire convoy encounters any kind of enemy force or weapon attack, the "Draco" 76mm self-propelled artillery can effectively respond with different ammunition.

For example, if the convoy encounters aerial targets such as enemy attack helicopters, attack aircraft, and UAVs, the "Dragon" 76mm self-propelled artillery can fire multi-purpose pre-formed fragments according to the target instructions of the search radar vehicle. Moreover, this ammunition also has a good killing effect against clusters of living targets on the ground.

If encountering second-generation main battle tanks such as T-54/55, T-62, and M60, the "Draco" 76mm self-propelled artillery can fire a stable armor-piercing shell with a tail fin with a muzzle velocity of 1617 m/s. This armor-piercing projectile can penetrate 150 mm/60 homogeneous steel armor at a distance of 2000 meters, which is sufficient to ensure penetration of the front armor of the second-generation main battle tank.

Of course, if the encounter is a third-generation main battle tank, the "Draco" 76mm self-propelled artillery can also make a roundabout movement with better maneuverability, so that it can shoot at the side and rear armor of the third-generation main battle tank and destroy it.

It can be said that no matter what enemy forces and threats they face, the "Dragon" 76mm self-propelled artillery has a countermeasure. If the traditional accompanying escort force is still used, multiple self-propelled anti-aircraft missile launchers, small-caliber self-propelled artillery, large-caliber wheeled assault guns, search radar vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles, and command vehicles are required. The "Dragon" 76mm self-propelled artillery to perform such tasks requires only 4 artillery vehicles and 1 search radar vehicle.

Country of originItaly
Entered servicenone to date
Crew3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight~ 30 t
Length (gun forward)~ 8 m
Hull length~ 7.4 m
Width~ 3.1 m
Height~ 3 m
Main gun1 x 76 mm
Machine guns1 x 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm
Projectile weight~ 12.5 kg
Maximum slant range?
Maximum firing range6 - 8 km
Rate of fire> 80 rpm
Elevation range?
Traverse range360 degrees
Ammunition load - Main gun?
Ammunition load - Machine guns?
EngineIveco MTCA diesel
Engine power520 hp
Maximum road speed100 km/h
Range800 km
Side slope40%
Vertical step0.55 m
Trench1.5 m
Fording up to 1.5 m

Draco B1 76mm SPAAG Draco B1 76mm SPAAG Draco B1 76mm SPAAG Draco B1 76mm SPAAG
Draco B1 76mm SPAAG

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Page last modified: 30-06-2021 12:04:59 ZULU