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М53/59 Czechoslovak Lizard

The М53/59 Praga is a Czechoslovak wheeled SPAAG developed in the late 1950s on the chassis of the Praga V3S truck. Coming to War Thunder as part of the next major update , Praga will soon make its way to the Soviet ground forces tree and expand its roster of highly capable SPAA units!

Briefly: A Czechoslovak SPAAG based on a modified truck chassis and fitted with a twin 30 mm anti-aircraft turret.

М53/59, SPAAG, USSR, rank IV.

Features:

  • Powerful 30 mm cannons
  • Magazine feed
  • Good mobility
  • Light protection
History

In 1948, engineers at Zbrojovka Brno began work on developing a new towed anti-aircraft gun. To this end, the engineers resorted to basing the new development off of a previous prototype developed for the German military dating back to WWII. By 1950 the prototype of the new gun underwent testing and, after some modification work, was commissioned into service with the Czechoslovak military in 1953 under the designation PLDvK vz. 53.

However, around the same time, the Czechoslovak military concluded that there was a need to procure a new SPAAG. As a result, the decision was made to use the recently commissioned PLDvK vz. 53 and mount it on a mobile platform. The chassis of choice became the Praga V3S truck, which was in widespread use at the time. After some modification work, the new SPAAG was completed by 1959 under the designation Praga PLDvK vz. 53/59 “Ještěrka” and was quickly commissioned into service.

Apart from the homeland service, Praga also saw use with other countries of the Warsaw pact as well as with countries outside the military alliance. It was also widely exported to the Middle East where it participated in numerous conflicts with the Libyan, Egyptian and Iraqi armed forces.

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In War Thunder, М53/59 will be a new SPAA unit arriving to rank IV of the Soviet ground forces tree as part of the upcoming update “Sky Guardians”. Unlike the more advanced ZSU-57-2, the М53/59 isn’t fitted with high-caliber semi automatic cannons, but rather with a pair of 30 mm fully automatic cannons mounted on a highly responsive turret. Furthermore, its 30 mm cannons can be loaded with armor-piercing ammunition which possess ample penetrating power to present a serious threat to all but the most heavily protected opponents. However, being fed by magazines with just a 50 round capacity means that aspiring Praga commanders will have to count on frequently reloading in between engagements. Therefore be sure to anticipate this and always stay in close proximity of hard cover in order to facilitate a quick and safe reload.

Being based on the modified chassis of a proven truck design means that М53/59 can boast rather good mobility, even in off road conditions. The М53/59 can reach a top speed over 60 km/h on roads while seeing only a relatively small decrease in off-road conditions. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that despite its ruggedness, М53/59 is still a wheeled vehicle. As a result, very soft surfaces such as snow and mud will inevitably have a severe negative impact on its mobility - so best stay clear of them if you can!

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In contrast to the original Praga truck it’s based on however, the М53/59 does feature some protection. Having its engine compartment and driver cabin encased in 10 mm of steel plating gives М53/59 sufficient protection when it comes to small arms fire and shrapnel. However, not only is this protection insufficient against targeted enemy fire but also the exposed turret in the rear of the vehicle is likely to be the first target the enemy will point its gun at. As a result, Praga can quickly be rendered ineffective or outright destroyed if commanders recklessly place their vehicle in the direct line of enemy fire.

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The М53/59 will soon make its way to the higher ranks of the Soviet ground forces tree and will become available to all tankers following the release of the next major update “Sky Guardians”. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned and follow the news as we continue unveiling more of what the upcoming update has in store for you. Until then, happy hunting tankers!

You can greatly speed up the research on this vehicle with:

IS-6 Pack
The Kit Includes:
  • Tank IS-6 (Rank IV, USSR)
  • 1000 Golden Eagles
  • Premium account for 7 days
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