The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


Oerlikon GDF-DO3 35mm 'Escorter' SPAAG

The vehicle is based on the Hydrokran Corporation's NIBUS all-terrain fire-fighting vehicle. It has a very low profile for rail and air transportation. It is armed with two-35mm Oerlikon KDF cannons, with a modified rate of fire of 600rpm, with 430-rounds being carried (215-rounds per gun). The radar system is that developed for the ADATS system. The radar is used to detect targets, ID them, then align guns onto target. Once guns are aligned, the FLIR unit takes over control of the engagement.

The cross country abilities would be below par, as it does seem to sit quite low to the ground. The cabin elevates. Most pictures show it when its depressed to the lowered position to allow all round traverse of the turret. Interesting method but one which was ultimately overly complex.

This system also came in a tracked mounting. The Oerlikon GDF-DO3 was mounted on the HYKA wheeled truck and the CDF-C03 mounted on an armored cab variant of the M548 tracked load carrier, itself a variant of the M113 APC. The search radar was from Oerlikons Italian subsidiary and would only be mounted on one in three systems. The crew of three were seated in the forward cab of the vehicle and the turret was unmanned. The system was never purchased an only produced in prototype form by Oerlikon.

The Swiss company "Oerlikon" developed a 35-mm twin anti-aircraft self-propelled gun Escorter-35, designed to combat low-flying aircraft and helicopters at ranges of up to 4 km and firing at ground targets, including lightly armored ones. She is able to conduct reconnaissance of air targets in motion and carry out their shelling from a short stop. This makes it possible to successfully use it to cover units and subunits of the ground forces, including on the march. In 1985, the ZSU Escorter-35 was demonstrated at an aerospace exhibition in France, and in the summer of 1986 it passed firing tests in the Middle East.

However, due to the complete absence of orders from third countries, this promising project was closed and the Escorter-35 was never adopted.

The Escorter-35 self-propelled anti-aircraft installation consists of an artillery unit and a fire control system mounted on a rotating platform, which is mounted on a wheeled (4X4) chassis, created by the West German company Gidrokran. The weight of the installation is about 24 tons. Its crew includes the commander, gunner and driver, which are located in the cockpit in the stowed position.

When the gun is transferred to the combat position, the self-propelled chassis cabin (with the commander and driver located in it) is lowered, which is typical for the device of truck cranes, providing the ability to rotate the platform for circular firing. The gunner takes place in the cockpit of the fire control system. The artillery unit includes two 35-mm automatic cannons GDF-DO 3 of the "Oerlikon" company, on the outside of each of which there is a magazine with ammunition and a system for their supply. Sector of cannon firing in the vertical plane from -5 to + 85 . The GDF-DO 3 cannon, whose automation works on the principle of barrel recoil, is an improved version of the Oerlikon cannon used in the GDF-001 towed anti-aircraft gun and the West German Gepard anti-aircraft gun. Its rate of fire has been increased from 550 to 600 rds / min. A drum-type magazine with a capacity of 200 rounds is divided into 25 segments, which are loaded using clips containing eight rounds of rounds of the same type. The magazine is loaded with shots with shells of two types, while data on the type of shells in each of the segments is entered into the computer of the fire control system. When the gunner chooses the required type of shells during firing, the magazine automatically turns and the nearest segment with shells of this type is connected to the ammunition supply system.

The reloading of the ammunition, which includes 430 shots (15 shots are in each of the ammunition supply systems), is carried out by the gunner and the driver in 6 minutes. Firing with 15-round bursts is considered regular (burst duration 1.5 s). For firing ZSU at air targets, shots with fragmentation-incendiary and semi-armor-piercing fragmentation-incendiary tracer projectiles can be used (their initial speed is 1175 m / s, flight time at a distance of 4 km is about 6 s), and for firing at ground targets - with armor-piercing a sub-caliber tracer projectile with a detachable pallet having an initial speed of 1385 m / s. The armor penetration of such a projectile at an angle of encounter with a target of 90 can reach 80 mm.

Also, a new fragmentation-incendiary projectile has been developed, which provides for a delay in the moment of detonation (for the time necessary for its penetration into the target), as well as an increase in the incendiary effect while reducing the mass of the explosive and increasing the mass of the fragments. The development of a sub-caliber armor-piercing fragmentation-incendiary projectile with a detachable pallet, intended for firing at both airborne and lightly armored ground targets, was nearing completion. The muzzle velocity of this projectile is 1395 m / s, the flight time at a distance of 4 km is about 4 s.

The fire control system, developed by the Swiss company "Contraves", includes a target detection radar, an optoelectronic target tracking system, a computing device, controls and displays.

Pulse-Doppler radar detection is a modification of the station developed by the Italian branch of the company "Contraves" for the multipurpose missile system ADATS, and differs from the latter mainly in the smaller size of the antenna. Thanks to frequency tuning in the operating range of 5.2-10.9 GHz, the use of a transmitter on a traveling wave lamp and a low level of side lobes of the antenna pattern rotating at 60 rpm, this radar is capable of detecting low-flying targets against the background of reflections from the underlying surface and in conditions of active jamming. The station allows detecting air targets at ranges of up to 20 km and tracking in azimuth and range up to six targets simultaneously.

Information about the air situation, obtained using the detection radar, is displayed on the all-round view indicator of the control panel located at the crew commander's workplace. On the basis of these data, an assessment of the degree of danger of targets is made (using a computing device of the fire control system) and the sequence of their firing is determined. Then the platform, on which the artillery unit and the cockpit of the fire control system are mounted, turns in the direction of the target, which is captured by the optoelectronic tracking system. The time from target detection to opening fire does not exceed 5 s.

The optoelectronic target tracking system consists of an IR tracking device, an optical sight and a laser rangefinder. The optical subsystems of these devices are structurally made in the form of a tracking head mounted on the roof of the fire control system cabin. After the target is locked, its tracking can be carried out automatically by an IR tracking device or manually by a gunner using an optical sight. However, even with automatic tracking, the gunner can control the operation of the IR tracking device and, in the event of auto-tracking failure, re-lock the target with the subsequent transition to tracking in automatic mode. It is reported that the IR tracking device and laser rangefinder operate in the wavelength range of about 10 microns and have a range of up to 10 km under favorable meteorological conditions.

The digital computing device ZSU Escorter-35, which is also used in the multipurpose missile system ADATS, calculates data for firing at a pre-emptive point based on the current values of coordinates and target speed, taking into account the ballistic characteristics and initial velocity of projectiles, meteorological conditions, tilt angles of the self-propelled chassis platform ( it has no stabilization system) and other parameters.

Oerlikon GDF-DO3 35mm 'Escorter' SPAAG Oerlikon GDF-DO3 35mm 'Escorter' SPAAG Oerlikon GDF-DO3 35mm 'Escorter' SPAAG Oerlikon GDF-DO3 35mm 'Escorter' SPAAG Oerlikon GDF-DO3 35mm 'Escorter' SPAAG Oerlikon GDF-DO3 35mm 'Escorter' SPAAG
Oerlikon GDF-DO3 35mm 'Escorter' SPAAG Oerlikon GDF-DO3 35mm 'Escorter' SPAAG

Join the mailing list

One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 30-06-2021 12:04:10 ZULU