The United Arab Emirates' International Golden Group (IGG) teamed with Slovenia's Valhalla Turrets to develop a 57 mm Desert Spider remote-controlled weapon system (RCWS).
Now in a prototype stage, the system was designed to protect high-value targets (HVTs) such as conventional and nuclear power stations, oil fields, or forward operating bases.
According to a spokesperson, "We are currently at Technology Readiness Level 6 [TRL 6] but working to achieve TRL 8 in the future and with funding permitting." The five-tonne Desert Spider is mounted on four extendable arms that can be adjusted to suit the terrain.
Its main armament comprises the 57 mm L/76.6 rifled weapon from Russia's S-60 towed anti-aircraft gun (AAG) that is fitted with a pepper pot muzzle brake and mounts the Russian 14.5 mm KPV heavy machine gun (HMG) co-axially. Heavier targets would be engaged using with the 57 mm gun, and lighter protected targets or dismounted infantry with the 14.5 mm HMG. The standard Russian S-60 57 mm AAG is fed with clips of four rounds of ammunition from the left side, with the empty cartridge cases ejected to the right.
For the Desert Spider application, a chain-driven mechanical ammunition handling system was developed. It holds 92 rounds of 57×348 mm ready-use ammunition. The weapon's maximum range is being quoted as 6,000 m, and its maximum cyclic rate of fire is 120 rds/min.
Types of 57 mm ammunition that could be fired include the BR-281 series of armour piercing high-explosive - tracer (APHE-T) with a muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/s, which could penetrate 96 mm of steel armour at a range of 1,000 m.
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