OTO Melara 76 mm

The OTO Melara 76 mm gun is a naval gun 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.[1]

OTO Melara 76 mm
The OTO Melara 76mm Super Rapid as mounted in a stealth cupola (to reduce Radar cross-section) onboard HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen.
TypeNaval gun
Place of originItaly
Service history
In service1964–present
Used bySee users
Production history
DesignerOto Melara
DesignedCompact: 1963
Super Rapid: 1985
Strales: 2004
ManufacturerOtobreda: 1963–2001
BHEL Haridwar : 1995- present (under licence)
Oto Melara (subsidiary of Finmeccanica): 2001–2015
Leonardo-Finmeccanica: since 2016
Leonardo: since 2017
ProducedCompact: 1964
Super Rapid: 1988
Strales: 2008
VariantsSee variants
MassEmpty: 7.5 tonnes (17,000 lb)
Barrel length62 caliber: 4,724.4 mm (186.00 in)
Crewremote controlled

cartridge weight 12.5 kilograms (28 lb)
shell weight 6.3 kilograms (14 lb)
propellant weight 2.35 kilograms (5.2 lb)
Caliber76.2 mm (3.00 in)
speed: 35°/s (acceleration: 72°/s²)
speed: 60°/s (acceleration: 72°/s²)
Rate of fireCompact: 85 rounds/min
Super Rapid: 120 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity915 m/s (3,000 ft/s)
Maximum firing rangeHE-PFF 16,000 m

SAPOMER 20,000 m

VULCANO 40,000 m
Feed systemMagazine capacity:
80 ready rounds on Compact gun mount

The system is compact enough to be installed on relatively small warships. Its high rate of fire and availability of range of ammunition make it capable for short-range anti-missile point defence, anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and ground support. Ammunition includes armour-piercing, incendiary, directed fragmentation effects, and a guided round marketed as capable of destroying manoeuvring anti-ship missiles ( Leonardo DART ). A stealth cupola is now offered.

The OTO Melara 76 mm has been widely exported and is in use by sixty navies. It has recently been favoured over the French 100mm naval gun for the joint French/Italian Horizon-class frigate 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.[2]

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


Super Rapid

Developed in the early 1980s (and sometimes called the "Super Rapido"), this variant is the up-to-date development of rapid fire Italian 76 mm naval cannons, capable of firing an increased 120 rounds per minute. The Super Rapid's higher rate of fire was achieved by designing a faster feed system.

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 defence role, being capable of countering several subsonic missiles up to 8,000 meters away.

The longer range means a single gun can engage several approaching missiles. The 76 mm was also capable of being used versus surface targets, being a medium caliber gun with relatively long range.[3]


To provide multiple roles for the gun, OTO provides the user with wide ranges of specialised ammunition:[4]

  • 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 fuze and tungsten balls embedded in the shell for defined fragmentation effect
  • SAPOM: 6.35 kg (0.46 kg HE), range 16 km (SAPOMER: 20 km) semi-armoured piercing
  • DART: guided projectile for anti-aircraft and anti-missile manoeuvring targets (https://www.leonardocompany.com/it/products/dart-1)
  • VULCANO: 5 kg, guided projectile with a maximum range around 40 km (it is a smaller version of the 127 mm Vulcano)[5]

Fire control system

There were evolutions in the gun's fire control systems as well. The early versions (Compatto) utilised 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). This system came in service with the Italian Navy, on the cruiser Garibaldi (C551: the RTN-30X entered in service first with Maestrale-class frigates, 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 Audace-class destroyers, 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.


There have been many developments in the fuzes, essential to shoot down low-flying missiles. The best fuze developed for the 76/62 guns is arguably the 3A-Plus programmable multi-role fuze, manufactured by Oto Melara and Simmel Difesa, introduced in the early 2000s. This fuze requires the installation of a fuze programmer in the mount.

The programmable multi-role fuze features several modes including a time mode for air burst and a number of proximity modes: gated proximity, anti-missile proximity, conventional air defence proximity and anti-surface proximity.

The fuzing includes a DSP which rejects ground/sea clutter and so is capable of detecting a missile flying as low as two meters above sea level. It has the capability to recognise a target at a 10-meter stand-off. In all, the fuze greatly increases the effectiveness of the gun when engaging anti-ship missiles.


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.[6] 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 fuze 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 fuze), six fixed wings and the radio receivers.[6]

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).[6]

The first lot of DART 76mm guided ammunition, produced by OTO Melara, was successfully tested at the end of March, 2014. The firing trials were conducted on board one of the Italian Navy's ships equipped with Strales 76mm SR and Selex NA25 fire control system.[7] The first firing trials of the DART ammunition bought by Colombia in 2012 were successfully conducted in the Caribbean Sea on 29 August from the 76/62 Strales inner-layer defence system fitted to its modernised FS 1500 Padilla-class frigates.[8]


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] GPS-IMU guidance and IR or SALT Terminal sensor[10]

Other uses

Most of the basic ammunition types offered for the Oto Melara 76mm can also be fired from the South African Rooikat armoured car with slight modification to change from electric to percussion primers. This is the only land-based vehicle system capable of deploying the same ammunition as its naval counterpart.[11]


Platforms using the Oto-Melara 76 mm include:


 South Korea
 Saudi Arabia
 Sri Lanka
 Taiwan (Republic of China)
 United Arab Emirates


 South Africa


  • Regele Ferdinand
  • Regina Maria



North America

The Mk75 in use aboard USCGC Gallatin, 2005.
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

South America


See also


  1. "Italy 76 mm/62 (3") Compact, SR - NavWeaps".
  2. "Iran to mass produce new artillery gun". Middle East Online. 27 September 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  3. Annati, Massimo: La difesa antimissile della MM, RiD magazine, Chiavari, September 2006
  4. Po, Enrico, April 1997
  5. Stanglini, Ruggero: Dart/DAVIDE, antimissile, ma non solo, PD Magazine, Ed.ai, Firenze, June 2003
  6. Annati, Massimo, 2006
  7. "The Strales 76mm system with DART guided ammunition". 18 April 2014. Archived from the original on 30 April 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  8. "Colombia conducts first DART firings". 17 September 2014. Archived from the original on 17 September 2014.
  9. Po, Eugenio: Oto Melara guarda al futuro, RiD Magazine, July 2009
  10. "Vulcano 76 mm". Oto Melara. 17 September 2014. Archived from the original on 18 September 2014.
  11. Jane's Armour and Artillery, 2001–2002, Volume 23 p. 244-345.
  12. "DCNS contracts Oto Melara to supply 76/62 SRMF guns for Egypt's Gowinds – IHS Jane's 360". Archived from the original on 2 October 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  13. "NS Durban to be OPVs home port". DefenceWeb. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
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