×
Home Aircraft / Aviation Naval Warfare Land Systems Small Arms
HOME
ARMOR
MODERN ARMIES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR
MODERN
SELF-PROPELLED ARTILLERY

OTO- Melara Palmaria


155mm Self-Propelled Gun (SPG)


The export-minded OTO-Melara Palmaria 155mm Self-Propelled Gun system has seen few buyers in a crowded SPG market.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 3/7/2019
The Palmaria 155mm self-propelled gun was developed as an in-house venture for interested foreign parties by the Italian concern of OTO Melara. With a long history of defense-minded developments, OTO Melara attempted to address the self-propelled artillery needs of growing or modernizing national armies and promoted their Palmaria as an alternative to more expensive Western and Soviet offerings.

Work on the vehicle began in 1977 of which the chassis was formed from the existing OF-40 Main Battle Tank, allowing both vehicles to share commonality of automotive parts in their design. The OF-40, another export-minded OTO Melara product, was itself developed in 1977 and would enter production in 1980, seeing service with the United Arab Emirates (however less than 50 would be were produced in all). It was hoped that the Palmaria would see better success than the OF-40 and a pilot vehicle was made ready for 1981.

While the OF-40 chassis was kept largely intact, a large boxy, angled turret superstructure was added that housed the 155mm main gun. The howitzer was afforded a heavy duty recoil mechanism and capped by a large double-baffle muzzle brake (a fume extractor is also identified along the middle portion of the barrel). The turret was set to the middle of the hull roof for proper balancing and defense was through a single 7.62mm machine gun mounted on the turret roof, to be used against enemy infantry or low-flying threats. The powerpack was set to the rear of the hull and incorporated an 8-cylinder diesel-fueled engine of 740 horsepower output. The vehicle was suspended atop a torsion bar arrangement and the track system made use of seven road wheels, a rear mounted drive sprocket and a front mounted track idler. Point defense for the running gear was provided through optional side skirt armor. Top road speed was 37 miles per hour with an operational range of 250 miles. The vehicle was crewed by five personnel with the driver in the front right hull and the remaining crew - commander, gunner and two loaders (further assisted by an automatic loader) - in the turret. 30 x 155mm projectiles were stowed aboard as were 1,000 x 7.62mm ammunition.

After passing the requisite trials, the vehicle was ordered by Libya (as many as 210 were delivered) to which serial production ensued in 1982. The Palmaria was also ordered by Nigeria (25) while Argentina ordered only the turrets (25) and had them installed on their existing TAM Medium Tank chassis (as the TAM VCA Palmaria) into 1987. By numbers alone, the Palmaria had already proven a better financial success than the OF-40 MBT.

In practice, the Palmaria was on par with Western offerings. The 155mm main gun could fire a plethora of cleared ammunition options including HE (High-Explosive,) Shrapnel, smoke and illumination rounds at distance (out to 24.7 kilometers, rocket-assisted out to 30 kilometers). The turret offered full 360-degree traversal and elevation of -5 to +70 degrees. An auxiliary power unit allowed for operation of critical systems without having to keep the engine running. The automatic loader provided for one 155mm projectile to be fired every 15 seconds, allowing for sustained rates.

Libyan Army Palmarias were used in anger during the 2011 revolution, several being destroyed by the air campaign sponsored by the United Nations.

The Palmaria receives its name from the island of Palmaria found in the Ligurian Sea near the Gulf of La Spezia. OTO Melara operates a location at La Spezia, Italy.






Specifications



Year:
1982
Crew
5
Manufacturing
OTO- Melara - Italy
Production
235 Units
National flag of Argentina National flag of Libya National flag of Nigeria Argentina (turrets only); Libya; Nigeria
- Fire Support / Assault / Breaching
Length:
37.63 ft (11.47 m)
Width/Span:
7.71 ft (2.35 m)
Height:
9.42 ft (2.87 m)
Weight:
51 tons (46,632 kg; 102,806 lb)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the OTO- Melara Palmaria production model)
1 x MTU MB 837 Ea-500 8-cylinder turbocharged multi-fuel diesel engine developing 750 horsepower.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the OTO- Melara Palmaria production model)
Maximum Speed:
37 mph (60 kph)
Maximum Range:
311 miles (500 km)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the OTO- Melara Palmaria production model; Compare this entry against any other in our database)
STANDARD:
1 x 155mm L41 main gun.
1 x 7.62mm anti-aircraft/anti-infantry machine gun on turret roof.

Ammunition:
30 x 155mm projectiles.
1,000 x 7.62mm ammunition.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the OTO- Melara Palmaria production model)
Palmaria - Base Series Designation
Palmaria AA - Anti-Aircraft Variant fitted with 2 x 35mm Atak cannons in revised turret (in place of howitzer arrangement).

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes AnvilOfWar.com, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.


www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-