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IGG, Valhalla Turrets team to develop 57 mm Desert Spider

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.

The 57 mm Desert Spider shown as it would be deployed to protect HVTs. (Valhalla Turrets)

The 57 mm Desert Spider shown as it would be deployed to protect HVTs. (Valhalla Turrets)

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.

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