Oto Melara SpA has unveiled in June its DRACO remotely operated weapon station. DRACO has been developed to be used on air defence operations against incoming aerial targets in order to protect strategic civilian and military assets.

DRACO system is able to engage aerial target including aircraft, air to surface missiles, unmanned aircraft system and helicopters. The weapon system can also provide direct- and indirect-fire support for ground units or be operated in the coastal defence role.

DRACO which has a weight or about 5.5 Tonnes including armoured protection, is fitted with 76mm gun, a tracking and guidance radar antenna, a panoramic sight, a 12.7mm or 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and 76mm smoke grenade launchers. The DRACO has been unveiled integrated on an Iveco Fiat-Oto Melara Società Consortile CENTAURO 8×8 armoured vehicle armed with the SCUDO active protection system.

The weapon station can be integrated on a wheeled or tracked vehicle with a minimum weight of 15 Tonnes or on a modular shelter carried by a heavy tactical truck. It can be also fitted with a communication package and a battle management system. The turret includes 12 ammunitions in the drum magazine in the rear of the turret and a further 24 rounds stowed in an automatic resupply system.

In June, the Italian company has firmed a memorandum of understanding with UAE (United Arab Emirates) based company Tawazun in order to market and produce there the DRACO system under the name of SAMOUM.

During the presentation, the company as referred the large quantities of 76mm gun operators (56) as the main reason to select the 76mm caliber for DRACO.

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