DRACO OTO Melara 76mm multipurpose surface and C-RAM counter-rocket artillery mortar system 2007144

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DRACO 76mm multipurpose weapon station
 
 
 
Sunday, July 20, 2014 01:00 PM
DRACO OTO Melara 76mm multipurpose surface and C-RAM counter-rocket artillery mortar system.
OTO Melara has developed the DRACO system, a multifunctional land-based mount designed around the unrivalled 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun to create a unit capable of C-RAM (counter-rocket artillery mortar) role, as well as air defense and ground combat for different operational employment. The main armament consists of a high rate of fire 76/62mm gun with an automatic ammunition loading system.
     
OTO Melara has developed the DRACO system, a multifunctional land-based mount designed around the unrivalled 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun to create a unit capable of C-RAM (counter-rocket artillery mortar) role, as well as air defense and ground combat for different operational employment. The main armament consists of a high rate of fire 76/62mm gun with an automatic ammunition loading system. DRACO OTO Melara multipurpose land and C-RAM (counter-rocket artillery mortar) at Eurosatory 2014, Defense and Security Exhibition in Paris, France.
     
The recent changes in the NATO military doctrine and the need to quickly deploy troops in theatre have led to a complete reconsideration of the traditional defensive means. The common perception is an increasing request for the capability to react to different possible threats, air, land and naval. Moreover, as it is possible to realize almost every week from the news report from the hottest international spots (Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza strip etc.), the capability of self-defense against low cost weapons (typically rockets, artillery rounds and mortar bombs) has gained a great importance and therefore the possibility to dispose of an effective reaction has become extremely significant. Another important feature is the possibility to deploy as easy and quick as possible the available defenses, without letting the adverse party to precisely locate the defense installations or equipments. Last but not least, a low cost of acquisition compared to other available solution or to the necessary combination of other solutions (missile and artilleries) and a low cost during the life span to operate and maintain the systems has become the driver to preserve the appropriate level of performances in a period of budget restrictions.
 
 
The roles the new systems are called to play range from defense of limited areas and vital points (like airports, strategic installations, camps and check points against various threat -air, helo, artillery and mortar rounds, rockets etc), to support to infantry for land operations (escort of convoys, infantry bombardment, artillery bombardment beyond line-of-sight) and coastal defense against medium and small boats.
     
OTO Melara has developed the DRACO system, a multifunctional land-based mount designed around the unrivalled 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun to create a unit capable of C-RAM (counter-rocket artillery mortar) role, as well as air defense and ground combat for different operational employment. The main armament consists of a high rate of fire 76/62mm gun with an automatic ammunition loading system. The DRACO is armed with a 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun coupled to an automatic ammunition loading system.
     
Based on the above mentioned emerging requirements, OTO Melara developed the DRACO system, a multifunctional land-based mount designed around the unrivalled 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun to create a unit capable of C-RAM (counter-rocket artillery mortar) role, as well as air defense and ground combat for different operational employment.
 
 

The selection of the 76mm calibre has been the final result of an analysis process performed with the aim to find the appropriate trade-off between a significant level of performances in different roles and the suitable dimension. In particular, the need to grant a sufficient rate of fire for anti-air defence and the volunteer to produce a system within a certain limit in space and weight, brought to exclude the calibres equal or bigger than 105mm.

As result, all the above mentioned considerations summed to the incomparable OTO Melara experience in the 76mm caliber, conducted to the selection of the present solution for DRACO which, according to the different type of threat and thanks to the use of specifically optimized ammunition rounds, is effective in ranges varying from less than 500 mt to 3000 mt for land targets in direct firing, 5000 mt for air targets up to 15000 mt for fixed targets and beyond 20000 mt for naval targets in the coastal defense role or in land application of indirect firing.

These capabilities are unique in the market and could only be achieved with other systems by using a mix of different weapons (artillery and missiles) with the intrinsic increase of cost and complexity.

The technical solutions selected for DRACO brought forth a very compact overhead weapon system with a 76/62mm automatic gun, capable of a high rate of fire (between 80 and 100 rounds per minutes, depending on the elevation angle), primary stabilized through two gyros (gun and turret).

The complete configuration includes an automatic loading system, Electro-Optical surveillance and tracking panoramic sight for detection, recognition and identification of targets in passive mode and the foldable tracking and guidance beam rider director for both target tracking and DART ammunition guidance. DART is the revolutionary 76mm guided ammunition, developed for anti-missile role for the naval application and whose technology has been carried to the land systems in order to increase the defence capability against high-manoeuvring threats.
     
OTO Melara has developed the DRACO system, a multifunctional land-based mount designed around the unrivalled 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun to create a unit capable of C-RAM (counter-rocket artillery mortar) role, as well as air defense and ground combat for different operational employment. The main armament consists of a high rate of fire 76/62mm gun with an automatic ammunition loading system.Ammunitions 76mm caliber for DRACO.
     
The C-RAM capability will be achieved by means of a special ammunition at present under development, designed by OTO Melara thanks to the significant experience matured in the last decade on special smart ammunition and fuses.
 

The total weight, depending on the required ballistic protection which is anyhow less important since the crew are in the hull, is 5.5 tons and allows the installation on 15 tons chassis with a total resulting weight, combat loaded, well within the 30 MCL and allowing, depending on the vehicle effective weight and shape, transportability on C-130. The combat loaded configuration of DRACO includes 12 (twelve) ready-to-fire rounds in a revolver feeding system around the rammer and an automatic magazine housing further 24 rounds stored in the turret.

DRACO is able to be installed either on transportable shelter, truck and 8 x 8 or trucked armed fighting vehicles and can therefore be configured with different level of mobility depending on the tactic needs.

The development program, based on technology partially financed by the Italian MoD, foresees the realization of a demonstrator in 2011 and a prototype able to guide the DART ammunition at the end of 2013.
 

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