During the second week of June, Oto Melara, a Finmeccanica company, together with the Italian Navy, successfully performed very important firing trials with the Strales system on board the Foscari ship (a naval unit belonging to the Comandanti Class); the trials took place in the open sea in front of the Poligono Interforze Salto di Quirra (PISQ), an Italian inter service firing range located in Sardinia.
The Strales, developed under the funding of the Italian Navy, is an anti-air, anti short range missile and anti FIACs system based on the installation on the 76 Super Rapid (SR) gun of a Radio Frequency (RF) guidance beam capable to steer a burst of sub-calibre DART projectiles against subsonic and supersonic targets with excellent manoeuvre capability and high lateral acceleration.
This capacity can be extended to all the 76/62 Super Rapid guns in service through the installation of the proper kit which also includes the possibility of a feeding magazine capable to automatically select different ammunition according to the role that the gun is requested to perform.
On board Nave Foscari the Strales system is integrated with the NA25 Firing Control System produced by Selex Sistemi Integrati.
The trials were carried out against radio-controlled, high velocity aerial targets against which DART projectiles were fired in four different engagements at intercept distances of more than 4 Km.
Thanks to special IR, high resolution video cameras installed on the gun for diagnostic purposes, it has been possible to record the images of the DART burst in the exact instant in which it intercepted the target.
The burst, activated by the proximity fuse of the projectile, took place according to the foreseen modalities and timing, showing the complete success of the launching phase, manoeuvring capabilities and intercept accuracy of the DART.
These firing trials have represented the last verification activity of Oto Melara on the development level reached by the complete system in an environment that reproduced the same characteristics of a typical operative mission at sea.
In October 2010 another firing campaign will be carried out in order to deliberate the configuration of the Dart ammunition and that will therefore represent the beginning of the industrialization phase the first batch of which will be dedicated to the qualification activities.
Source: Next to last firing trials of the STRALES system on board Nave Foscari
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