13 December 2018

OTOMATIC SPAAG: Belated Perfection

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The OTOMATIC is a highly advanced Italian SPAAG, developed during the 1980s as a private venture of the OTO Melara company. War Thunder tankers can look forward to sweeping the skies clear with the use of the most modern SPAA coming to the game as part of the upcoming update 1.85 Supersonic!

Briefly: A highly effective modern SPAAG, equipped with a fully automatic radar guided 76mm anti-aircraft cannon.

History

Development of the OTOMATIC SPAAG began during the mid 1980s as a private venture of the OTO Melara company. The basic concept behind the OTOMATIC was to take the successful 76mm Super Rapido utility cannon used on naval vessels and fit it to a suitable mobile platform in order to create a long-range SPAA vehicle that would outmatch similar designs such as the German Gepard or British Marksman system. Although a challenging feat, Italian engineers eventually succeeded in this endeavour, creating a vehicle that wasn’t only up to the latest technological standards but also perfectly suited, and even exceeded, various NATO requirements of the time. The first prototype of the OTOMATIC was ready for testing in the late 1980s. Intended to be compatible with a large number of NATO vehicles of the time, the OTOMATIC, similarly to the British Marksman system, was tested on several hulls and it was planned to be capable of fitting any NATO tank, including the Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams. However, as the Cold War ended and general interest for SPAAG vehicles began declining in favour of more modern missile systems, the OTOMATIC project never received any interest from potential users. For the Italian army, the project was initially accepted, but later abandoned due to budget cuts. 

In War Thunder, the OTOMATIC will be the crowning jewel of the Italian SPAA line, awaiting players at the top rank of the Italian ground forces tree, coming to the game with the upcoming update 1.85. The OTOMATIC will bring a uniquely modern twist to the familiar SPAA formula and is sure to provide some excellent anti-air cover for its allies!

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The most notable feature of the OTOMATIC is undoubtedly its impressive OTOBreda 76/62 anti-air cannon. Radar guided, fully stabilised and coupled to an automated loading mechanism, the OTOMATIC is able to unleash a deadly hail of very large proximity-fused AA shells, capable of easily destroying lurking helicopters at distance and fast moving jets alike.

However, the OTOMATIC isn’t just well-equipped to deal solely with aerial targets. The 76mm main gun, apart from having access to AAVT rounds, also has a limited supply of APDSFS shells that it can use for self-defence against heavily armoured vehicles threatening the OTOMATIC.

Fun Fact: The main gun of the OTOMATIC is a derived version of a naval utility gun used to combat, among other threats, missiles.

Being based on the nimble chassis of an OF-40 Mk.2, the OTOMATIC won’t exactly be the slowest machine on the battlefield either. Powered by an 830 horsepower diesel engine, the OTOMATIC can reach a respectable top speed of 65 km/h on roads and even manages to achieve a very good reverse speed of 26 km/h!

Using such good mobility, future OTOMATIC commanders should stick close to their allies, but change positions frequently, in order to remain as effective as possible and constantly keep the enemy pilots guessing as to where you’re positioned.

The OTOMATIC will become available as Italy’s top performing SPAAG with the release of the upcoming War Thunder update 1.85. In the meantime, make sure to stay tuned to the news for more information on the next major update coming to the game. Until then, happy hunting tankers!


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