The Italian Palmaria 155mm Self Propelled Gun

The Italian Palmaria 155mm Self Propelled Gun
The Italian Palmaria 155mm Self Propelled Gun

The Italian Palmaria 155mm Self Propelled Gun was designed and developed by OTO Melara, for the export market. (OTO Melara isn’t to be confused with its naval artillery division, OTO Breda which was formed after OTO Melara merged with Breda Meccanica Bresciana).

Development of the Palmaria began in 1977 and the first prototype appeared in 1981. Production began in 1982. The Palmaria is built on the chassis of the OF40 tank, which was also built for the export market.

The Italian Palmaria 155mm Self Propelled Gun Operators

The first country to order the Palmaria was Libya, who initially ordered 210 of them. However, as of 2004, there were only 160 in service. Argentina ordered 25 Palmaria turrets which they fitted onto their TAM tank chassis. Nigeria also ordered 25 Palmarias.

Argentina Palmaria turret fitted onto the TAM tank chassis

The Italian Palmaria 155mm Self Propelled Gun Description

The Palmaria’s 155mm gun is of L41 calibre and has an auto loader with 23 ready rounds. 7 more rounds are stowed in the hull. The gun has a burst fire capability of 3 rounds in 20-25 seconds. When manually loaded, the Palmaria has a normal fire rate of 1 round per minute for one hour; intense firing is 4 rounds in 1 minute, whilst the sustained fire rate is 1 round ever 3 minutes indefinitely. Between rounds, the gun returns to an elevation of +2 degrees.

The main gun uses a variety of ammunition types, including specially designed Simmel ammunition with a range of 24.7km, 27.5km with base bleed and 30km with rocket assistance.

Secondary armament is a 7.62mm machine gun, whilst a variant of it replaces the M.G. with twin 25mm anti-aircraft cannon.

The Palmaria has a crew of 5. The turret has a hydraulic drive, with manual backup, and an APU to conserve fuel for the main engine.

The main engine is an MTU MB 837 Ea-500 8 cylinder, 4 stroke, 750hp, turbo charged multi-fuel diesel engine, giving a maximum road speed of 60km/h, and a maximum range of 500km.

This page was writtern and Submitted by Bruce Forrest