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OTO Melara 76 mm
76/62 Super Rapid
The OTO Melara 76mm Super Rapid as mounted in a stealth cupola (to reduce 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
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 and availability of specialized ammunition make it well-suited in varied roles such as short-range anti-missile point defense, anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and ground support. Specialized ammunition includes armor piercing, incendiary, directed fragmentation effects, and a guided round marketed as capable of destroying maneuvering anti-ship missiles. A stealth cupola is now offered.

The OTO Melara 76 mm has been widely exported, currently in use internationally by 60 navies. It has recently been favored 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.[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


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 the feed system to more quickly load ammunition from magazine to barrel, and to fire the gun.

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 Durand de la Penne class 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 caliber gun with relatively long range.[2]


To provide multiple roles for the gun, OTO provides the user with wide ranges of specialized 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-armored piercing
  • DART: guided shells for anti-aircraft maneuvering targets
  • Vulcano: 5 kg, maximum range around 40 km (it is a smaller version of the 127 mm Vulcano)[4]

Fire Control System

There were evolutions in the gun's fire control systems as well. The early versions (Compatto) utilized 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 were many developments in the fuses, essential 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.

The programmable multi-role fuse offers the user different modes for excellent flexibility, including a time mode for air burst; proximity mode: including Gated Proximity, Anti-Missile Proximity, Conventional Air Defense Proximity and Anti-Surface Proximity Modes; and several different impact modes: including Delayed Impact.

The system includes a DSP which rejects ground/sea clutter and 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.


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]


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]

Gun Users

Platforms using the Oto-Melara 76 mm include:


  • Kaman-class missile boat

Shells of the OTO Melara 76mm gun in Japanese service.

 South Korea

Royal Omani Navy Khareef class corvette


The OTO Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun mounted on the Victory-class corvette - RSS Valour (89)

 Sri Lanka
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 United Arab Emirates


 South Africa


Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark

76mm OTO Melara cannon on the Irish Naval Service patrol vessel LÉ Niamh




North America

The Mk75 in use aboard USCGC Gallatin, 2005.
Underdeck of a Mark 75 gun
Various aspect of the OTO Melara 76 mm Mark 75 gun in US service
United States

South America

  • Quito-class missile boat

See also


  1. "Iran to mass produce new artillery gun". Middle East Online. 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  2. Annati, Massimo: La difesa antimissile della MM, RiD magazine, Chiavari, september 2006
  3. Po, Enrico, april 1997
  4. Stanglini, Ruggero: Dart/DAVIDE, antimissile, ma non solo, PD Magazine,, Firenze, june 2003
  5. Annati, Massimo, 2006
  6. Annati, Massimo, 2006
  7. Annati, Massimo, 2006
  8. Annati, Massimo, 2006
  9. Po, Eugenio: Oto Melara guarda al futuro, RiD Magazine, July 2009
  10. "NS Durban to be OPVs home port". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 

External links

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