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Otomatic 76-mm SPAAG self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

The Otomatic was an Italian prototype self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) built by OTO-Melara. It combined the chassis of a Leopard 1 or OF-40 tank with a new turret mounting the Otobreda 76 mm gun along with associated search and targeting radars and their fire control systems. OTO Melara offered it as a long-range SPAAG that could outperform systems like the Gepard and similar versions with the British Marksman turret that mounted much smaller 35 mm guns. The gun could also be useful against lighter armored vehicles or older generation tanks. However, the Otomatic was never put into production because the widespread presence of anti-aircraft missiles reduced the need for a long-range AA gun on the modern battlefield.

The maximum range for hitting targets is 6000 m; to hit almost any target, one volley of 6 shots is enough. The fire control system allows you to detect and track the target and consists of a search radar with an antenna installed in the rear of the tower and a tracking radar with an antenna mounted on the tower in front of the search radar antenna. Both antennas fold in and out. The tracking radar is equipped with a biaxial optical-electronic search engine, which allows the installation to operate in electronic warfare conditions. In addition, the installation has an optical fire control system designed to engage ground targets.

On each side of the tower, there are 3 electric smoke screens installed. The turret provides for the installation of a 7.62 mm machine gun for local protection.

The chassis was developed on the basis of the Palmyria 155-mm self-propelled howitzer. Combat weight "Otomatika" is 46 tons. Ammunition load is 100 shells. A unique feature of the Otomatic compared to similar systems is its ability to detect and destroy enemy attack helicopters before they reach the range of their missiles. Most anti-aircraft guns have a caliber of 30 to 40 mm, and therefore have a maximum range of 3000 to 4000 m, which allows them to always hit targets before they reach the range of their missiles.

Next-generation aircraft missiles, such as the ASM-114 Hellfire, have a longer range. The presence of such weapons allows helicopters to maintain a sufficient distance from the target without the risk of being hit by a smaller-caliber ZSU.

The 76.2 mm Otomatic gun is housed in a mechanized turret. The maximum vertical guidance angle is -5 ... + 60 Ammunition: 100 shells, 70 of them are in the turret, 30 in the hull, 25 of which are concentrated in the automatic loading system for immediate use. High-explosive or fragmentation projectiles with a head or remote fuse are used to destroy air targets, and armor-piercing subcaliber projectiles are used to destroy ground targets.

It is obvious that an increase in the caliber of anti-aircraft guns also has negative consequences: the rate of fire of the gun decreases, the ammunition load decreases due to the increase in the weight of the projectile, and errors occur more often when firing at long distances.

These circumstances prompted the developers to look for the possibility of adjusting the trajectory of the projectile in the target area. The solution was found in equipping it with a pulse correction motor, which is six small charges placed in the shell of the projectile. By starting the appropriate engine, operators can change the projectile's trajectory within 10 in any direction relative to the velocity vector by commands from the ground control system. The command receiver is located at the bottom of the projectile, and its antenna in the form of a cruciform lattice of four elements is located on the stabilizer vanes.

Experts believed that such a projectile, equipped with proximity and contact fuses, will make it possible to successfully combat helicopters at distances of 8-10 km. Its cost is 5-10 times higher than usual, however, according to foreign experts, with a 50% probability of hitting a target, this is a completely profitable alternative to the air defense system.

The optical-electronic system of aiming and tracking includes: an optical panoramic device for observing the air and ground situation of the crew commander; gunner's optoelectronic sighting device with optical and television channels and a laser rangefinder (based on yttrium aluminum grenade with neodymium) generating 10 pulses per second; Television-optical tracking device working in low light conditions.

The control panels of the commander and gunner have indication and control elements that allow displaying information about the air situation and control the fire of the ZSU. The color screen of the indicator of the right panel displays information about targets received via radio communication channels or through the lines of the unified data transmission and distribution system. These data allow the commander to carry out a sector search for a target using the radar, to accompany the target and solve the problem of identifying its nationality. Using the display of the left panel indicator, the gunner accompanies the target with electro-optical means. A high degree of automation of all processes of functioning of the ZSU subsystems and control of its fire has been achieved, as follows from reports of foreign press, thanks to the presence of a digital computer as part of the fire control system (the reaction time of the latter is 5 s).

The engine compartment of the self-propelled unit is equipped with a MTU MB 837 ??-500 diesel engine with a capacity of 750 hp (there is also information about the use of a 1100 hp diesel engine), the transmission is hydromechanical.

In the tracked undercarriage, seven road wheels are installed on each side. Suspension - individual torsion bar. The drive wheels are located at the back. The upper branches of the tracks are covered with steel anti-cumulative screens.

Two prototypes of the installation were created. In January 1987, the OTO Melara company manufactured the first sample of the Otomatic SPAAG SPAAG and in December of the same year conducted its tests, during which the possibility of firing in motion while tracking a target using an optoelectronic system was demonstrated. However, the new anti-aircraft gun remained in the form of the project. Further development was frozen and never entered service with the Otomatic ZSU, although in terms of its technical characteristics it was significantly superior to the existing ZSU models.

As it turned out, OTO-Melara did not find buyers for its system in the market, where it has been located for several years. The main contractors were SMA, which supplied search and tracking radars, and Office Galileo, which supplied optoelectronic and all-weather fire control systems.

Weight 46 t;
length (with the gun) 9.64 m
body length 7.27 m
width 3.35 m
height (without radar) 3.15 m
Armament Type Cannon
Caliber, mm 76
Quantity 1
Ammunition 70
Max. angle of elevation of the gun+60
Max. gun depression angle, deg -5
Rate of fire, rds / min 120
Effective oblique firing range at air targets, km 6
Horizontal firing range, km 11
Horizontal firing angle, deg 360
Number of track rollers per side 7
Engine Type four-stroke, turbocharged, water-cooled diesel
Model MTU MB 837 Ea-500
Quantity 1
Power, hp 750-1100hp
Maximum speed 60 km / h;
Cruising range 500 km;
Ford 1.2 m;
Climbing steepness 60 ;
Vertical obstacle 1.15 m;
Maximum width of the ditch3 m
Crew, pers. 4
Otomatic 76-mm SPAAG Otomatic 76-mm SPAAG Otomatic 76-mm SPAAG
Otomatic 76-mm SPAAG

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