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OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun

 

OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun

OTO Melara 76 mm
Radar cross-section) onboard the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen.
Type Naval gun
Place of origin Italy
Service history
In service 1964 - present
Used by See users
Production history
Designer Oto Melara
Designed Compact: 1963
Super Rapid: 1985
Strales: 2004
Manufacturer Oto Melara: 1963–2001
Otobreda (subsidiary of Finmeccanica): since 2001
Produced Compact: 1964
Super Rapid: 1988
Strales: 2008
Variants See variants
Specifications
Weight Empty: 7.5 tonnes (17,000 lb)
Barrel length 62 caliber: 4,724.4 mm (186.00 in)
Crew remote controlled

Shell 76×900mmR (complete round)
12.34 kilograms (27.2 lb)
Caliber 76.2 mm (3.00 in)
Elevation -15°/+85°
speed: 35°/s (acceleration: 72°/s²)
Traverse 360°
speed: 60°/s (acceleration: 72°/s²)
Rate of fire Compact: 85 rounds/min
Super Rapid: 120 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 905 m/s (2,970 ft/s)
Maximum range HE-PFF 16,000 m

SAPOMER 20,000 m
76 Vulcano 40,000 m (Future)

Feed system Magazine capacity:
80 ready rounds on Compact gun mount

The OTO Melara 76 mm gun is a naval artillery piece built and designed by the Italian defence company Oto Melara. It is based on the Oto Melara 76/62C and evolved toward 76/62 SR and 76/62 Strales. The Oto Melara 76 mm Compatto cannon system is compact enough to be installed on relatively small warships, like corvettes, avisos (a vessel somewhere between a corvette and a patrol boat), or patrol boats. The gun's high rate of fire makes it suitable for short-range anti-missile point defence, and its calibre also allows it to function in anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and ground support roles. Specialised ammunition is available for armour piercing, incendiary and directed fragmentation effects and there is also a new guided round that is supposed to be able to destroy maneuvering anti-ship missiles. In recent years a new stealth cupola has been offered.

The OTO Melara 76 mm has been widely exported and is in use with 60 navies. It has recently been favoured over the French 100mm naval gun for the joint French/Italian project and FREMM frigate. On 27 September 2006 Iran announced it has started mass production of a marine artillery gun, named the Fajr-27, which is a reverse-engineered Oto Melara 76 mm gun.[1]

Other specifications

  • Cooling: sea water—fresh water for flushing
  • Electrical Power supply
    • 440 V, 3-phase, 60 Hz, main circuit;
    • 115 V, 1-phase, 400 Hz, servo and synchro network

Variants

Super Rapid

Also called the "Super Rapido" this weapon, developed in early 1980s, is the up to date development of the Italian 76 mm naval cannons, with an increased rate of fire of 120 rounds per minute. High rate of fire was achieved by new design of feed system which reduces the time to bring ammunition from magazine to barrel and fire.

Strales system

These new improvements led to the Italian Navy preferring the Super Rapido with Strales System and DART ammunition to the Fast Forty 40 mm CIWS, in the anti-missile defense role, being capable of countering several subsonic missiles from 6,000 to 1,000 meters away. DART 76m had a longer range when compared to other CIWS, but the Italian navy wanted an even longer range weapon. The was initially planned to carry four 40 mm Fast Forty dual turrets, but they were replaced by three 76 mm Super Rapido turrets. The longer range means one single gun can engage more than one missile in a single engagement, and minimizes the danger posed by fragments and splinters if a missile is destroyed close to the ship. The 76 mm was also capable of being used versus surface targets, being a medium calibre gun with relatively long range.[2]

Ammunition

In order to develop the maximum potential from those guns, OTO has developed and is continuing to develop a complete family of ammunition:[3]

  • HE standard (all models): weight 6.296 kg, range 16 km, effective 8 km (4 km vs. air targets at 85°)
  • MOM: developed by OTO (Multirole OTO Munition)
  • PFF: anti-missile projectile, with proximity fuse and tungsten cubes
  • SAPOM: 6.35 kg (0.46 kg HE), range 16 km (SAPOMER: 20 km) semi-armoured piercing
  • DART: guided ammo for A.A. manoeuvring targets
  • Vulcano: 5 kg, maximum range around 40 km (it is a smaller version of the 127 mm Vulcano)[4]

There were evolutions in the fire control systems as well. The early versions (Compatto) usually used radars such the RTN-10X Orion (made by Selenia, now Selex); from the early 1980s there was a more powerful and flexible system, the RTN-30X (used with the Dardo-E CIWS system and known within Italian Navy as SPG-73), that was capable to manage both guns (40,76 and 127 mm calibres) and missiles (Sea Sparrow-Aspide). With the Italian navy's this system came in service with the cruiser Garibaldi (C551: the RTN-30X entered in service first with , but the Dardo 40 mm turret were slaved to the smaller and older RTN-20X radars), but still with the twin 40 mm Dardo's turrets; while the first ship equipped with Dardo E and 76 mm Super Rapido was the upgraded , later followed by the Durand de la Penne class. The 76/62 has also been used with countless other fire control systems, when not being used in the Italian fleet.

Fuses

There were many developments also in the fuses, especially in order to shoot down low-flying missiles. The best fuse developed for the 76/62 guns is arguably the 3A-Plus programmable multi-role fuse, manufactured by Oto Melara and Simmel Difesa, introduced in the early 2000s. This fuse requires the installation of a fuse programmer in the mount. It offers a plethora of different modes for excellent flexibility, including a time mode for air burst, proximity modes including Gated Proximity, Anti-Missile Proximity, Conventional Air Defence Proximity and Anti-Surface Proximity Modes and several different impact modes, including Delayed Impact. It also includes a DSP which rejects ground/sea clutter and which makes the fuse capable of detecting a missile flying as low as two meters above sea level. It has the capability to recognize a target at a 10 meter stand-off. In all, the fuse greatly increases the effectiveness of the gun when engaging anti-ship missiles.

DART

Since the 1980s efforts were made for development of guided 76 mm ammunition, but this was not achieved until recently. The first such ammunition was the CCS (Course Corrected Shell), also known as 'CORRETTO'; a joint program of OTO and British Aerospace.[5] Work started in 1985. The projectile had several small rockets in order to deviate the trajectory. Radio commands were sent from the ship FCS. The FCS did not know the exact position of the projectile, only that of the target. This system was too complex and unreliable, so OTO studied another development in order to obtain a real 'guided ammunition'.

The result of this development is a system which was called DAVIDE just for the Italian market and STRALES for export purposes while the fired guided ammunition is called DART(Driven Ammunition Reduced Time of flight)[6]

The DART projectile is similar in many aspects to other hyper-velocity systems, for example the Starstreak SAM missile's multi-dart warhead, but is a guided gun projectile with radio controls and a proximity fuse for low level engagement (up to 2 meters over the sea). DART is fired at 1,200 m/s (3,900 ft/s), can reach 5 km range in only 5 seconds, and can perform up to 40 manoeuvres. The DART projectile is made of two parts: the forward is free to rotate and has two small canard wings for flight control. The aft part has the 2.5 kg warhead (with tungsten cubes and the 3A millimetric wave new fuse), six fixed wings and the radio receivers.[7]

The guidance system is Command Line of Sight (CLOS). It uses a TX antenna installed on gun. The radio-command for them is provided on a broadcast data-link (Ka Band).[8]

VULCANO

The more recent development is the VULCANO 76 ammunition system. Basically, it is a scaled down version of the 127-155 mm Vulcano family of extended-range projectiles developed by Oto Melara; guided by Inertial Navigation System and Global Positioning Systems, it is capable of hitting targets twice the distance of normal 76 mm gun ammunition.[9]

Users

Platforms using the Oto-Melara 76 mm include:

Asia

 Bangladesh
 Indonesia
 India
 Iran
 Israel


 Japan
 South Korea
 Malaysia
 Oman


 Philippines


 Singapore
 Sri Lanka
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 Thailand
 United Arab Emirates

Africa

 Egypt
 Morocco
  • - Spanish built
 South Africa
  • former fast attack craft modified to OPVs - missiles launchers and rear 76mm gun removed.[10]
 Tunisia

Europe

 Belgium
 Denmark
 France
 Germany
 Greece
  • ()


 Ireland
 Italy
 Netherlands
 Norway
 Poland
 Portugal
 Romania
 Spain
 Turkey

Oceania

 Australia

North America

 Canada
  • after TRUMP modifications
The Mk75 in use aboard USCGC Gallatin, 2005.
150px
Loading of the 76 mm shells
Underdeck of a Mark 75 gun
Various aspect of the OTO Melara 76 mm Mark 75 gun in US service
 United States
  • (USCG)
  • (USCG)
  • (USN)
  • (now de-commissioned) (USN)
 Mexico

South America

 Argentina
  • - license built MEKO 140 design
  • - based on the TNC-45 design
 Chile
 Colombia
 Ecuador
 Peru

See also

References

External links

  • Official website of Oto Melara 76mm gun
  • YouTube
  • Italian 76 mm/62 (3") Compact, SR and USA 76 mm/62 (3") Mark 75 at NavWeaps

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