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Meroka CIWS

he Meroka CIWS is a Spanish Close-in weapon system developed and produced by the apanish firm Fabrica de Artillería Bazán. The Meroka uses twelve Oerlikon 20mm/120 mounted in two rown of six guns each. The Meroka are equipped in the Principe de Asturias aircraft carrier, the Santa Maria Class frigates, the frigates of the Álvaro de Bazán and the frigates of the Baleares Class.

The development of the Meroka CIWS began in 1970 and the Spanish navy adopted the system in 1975.


This is a CIWS developed by the Spanish manufacturer Bazán (now Fabrica de Artilleria Bazán - FABA) using twelve Oerlikon 20 mm/120 guns organized in two rows of six guns each. The barrels are slightly skewed in order to expand the lethal area.

The original version of this weapon system used an off-mount radar for target search. This handed off to an on-mount Lockheed Electronics PVS-2 Sharpshooter I-band radar which was designed to acquire targets at 5,000 m (5,500 yards), allow the CIWS to achieve first impact at 1,500 m (1,640 yards) and destroy the target by 500 m (550 yards). An optronic system is provided for backup in a jamming environment and there is an off-boresight tracker to handle very-low flying targets. Later, an Israeli designed IR tracker was added. These mountings operate "open-loop," in other words, they do not correct for observed errors in the firing solution.

The current Model 2B has a more sophisticated fire control processor and a digital processor for system control. It also includes an Indra (formerly ENOSA) thermal imager.

The Spanish Navy estimates that there is an 87% probability of destroying an incoming missile with a single 12-round burst.


  • Gun: 12 × Oerlikon 20 mm/120.

    Meroka CIWS on the Spanish Aircraft Carrier Principe das Ásturias (R-11)

  • Weight: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb).
  • Elevation: -15° to +85°.
  • Traverse: 360°.
  • Muzzle velocity: 1,290 m/s (4,200 ft/s).
  • Rate of fire: 1,440 rounds per minute cyclic (for all twelve barrels).
  • Ammunition: Fixed (APDS-T) 720 rounds in a magazine, 60 rounds per barrel.
  • Weapons range: Effective range with APDS-T (0.102 kg with sabot), roughly 1,500–2,000 meters.
  • Search and track systems: Lockheed Electronics PVS-2 Sharpshooter I-band radar, Indra Thermal Imager.

See also

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