27 August 2019

SIDAM 25 Mistral: Blowing Away the Competition

During the mid 1990s, the Italian military started a modernization program for the SIDAM 25 SPAA, which allowed the vehicle to carry surface-to-air missiles. Coming soon as part of the upcoming update 1.91, the new SIDAM 25 Mistral will become the first SAM-equipped SPAA available to Italian tankers in War Thunder!

Briefly: A modernized version of the familiar SIDAM 25 SPAA, modified to carry up to six Mistral surface-to-air missiles.

SIDAM 25 Mistral, SPAA, Italy, VII rank.

Pros

  • Familiar 25mm cannons
  • Long-range heat-seeking missiles

Cons

  • Limited number of missiles
  • Lack of search radar
Historical Background

Modernization plans for the SIDAM 25 were drawn up in late 1994, when Italian engineers proposed the up-arming of the vehicle with Mistral surface-to-air missiles in order to give it better long-range capabilities and improve its performance as a whole.

The missiles were to be distributed between two launchers, with each launcher containing three missiles. As such, the vehicle could then utilize the missiles against targets at long range, whilst preserving the cannon armament for close-range engagements.

The modernization of the SIDAM 25s with Mistral SAMs was expected to begin in the early 2000s, alongside some other potential upgrades as well.

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The SIDAM 25 Mistral will come to War Thunder as part of the upcoming update 1.91 and will be the first SPAA vehicle fitted with SAMs available to Italian tankers in the game. Much like the 2S6 Tunguska, already familiar to players, the SIDAM 25 will offer tankers a mobile anti-air platform which combines both conventional gun armament with an effective missile system.

In terms of general characteristics, tankers pretty much still look at the standard SIDAM 25 SPAA with which some have already made their acquaintances with. The biggest twist however, comes in the shape of its standout feature - the six Mistral surface-to-air missiles.

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These missiles, perhaps familiar to some French helicopter pilots out there, are unlike Tunguska’s manually guided missiles, heat-seeking infra-red (IR) missiles. This means that aspiring commanders of this machine won’t have to keep the target in sight in order to destroy it, but will simply need to achieve a successful lock-on in order to fire the missile and potentially destroy the designated target. Thanks to the Mistral SAMs, the effective range of the SIDAM 25 is potentially increased up to 5.5 km - the maximum lock-on range of the Mistral missiles.

Although the addition of Mistral SAMs to the SIDAM 25 might make it seem like the vehicle’s capabilities have been substantially enhanced, it’s worth keeping several distinct drawbacks in mind. For starters, the SIDAM 25 is not fitted with a search radar, meaning that commanders of this machine will need to make out and select targets manually. Furthermore, due to the Mistral SAMs being IR missiles, their effectiveness relies entirely on their own tracking ability, meaning that they may be fooled with the use of countermeasures, while players will have no further control over the missile’s behaviour once it leaves the launcher. Lastly, the SIDAM 25 Mistral will have the least number of guided missiles available at its disposal during a battle when compared to other top tier SPAAs currently in the game, meaning there’s less room for errors.

 

All in all, the new SIDAM 25 Mistral will offer fans of Italian ground vehicles an improved version of an already familiar SPAA platform that comes with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, which tankers will have to successfully master in order to get the most out of this vehicle.

This vehicle will be assigned to the top rank of the Italian ground forces tree.


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