OTO Melara has completed the setup of the production line and started serial production of DART guided munitions for its 76/62 STRALES naval guns.
An Initial batch of production was completed and ammunition was made available for acceptance tests and live firing demos.
In June, on board the Italian Navy ship " Foscari", a firing campaign against surface targets and simulated air targets took place in Sicily to demonstrate accuracy and reliability of serial DART ammunition.
The tests took place in front of several foreign Navies delegations hosted by the Italian Navy. The results of the firing trials were very positive demonstrating guidance accuracy at very low altitude above sea and against air simulated maneuvering targets. Ten rounds were fired against 1.5 m diameter sphere target at about 5 km range and 8 of them exploded on the target detected by RF proximity fuse.
Other ten rounds were fired in different engagements also against simulated high "G" maneuvering missiles at a range between 3 and 5 km and all rounds passed within fuse sensitivity radius from the aimed point.
DART is a guided ammunition that can be fired from any 76 SR or Compact in the "Strales" version or by any in service gun where the RF guidance antenna kit has been installed together with the relevant upgrade of the gun console and interface. DART guided ammunition has been developed to drastically increase effectiveness against high maneuvering air targets or surface small and fast moving threats.
About 10 76 SR new Strales guns and 6 guidance kits for existing guns, have already been produced and installed or under installation on board ships, an equivalent amount has already been ordered and presently in production.