Press & Media

Palma: Air Defense Missile/Gun and Gun System

Oleg Korotkov– General Designer of Special Engineering, Doctor of Science, Academician of Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences
Anatoly Karpov– Chief of a Complex
Vladimir Kopylov – Head of Foreign Economic Relations Department

Firing Module of Palma Naval ADSDevelopment of the highly effective naval air defense systems, capable to repel the swarm attacks of anti-ship missiles has not reduced an urgency of development and manufacture of air defense small caliber artillery systems. Moreover the systems of this class have been advanced and fitted up by small-size short-range anti-aircraft missiles (SAM). It is determined by larger or smaller probability that cruise missiles will not be knocked down even by the most perfect missile systems.
The reliable defense of such expensive armament as the warship may be ensured only by "reshooting" the penetrated missiles on the last defense line. In some cases, when the air defense missile system cannot be placed on the ship because of limitations on permissible mass or due to its excessively high cost, the small caliber artillery system fitted up by SAM is the only and simultaneously very effective self-defense weapon. The role of the air defense systems containing in their structure the small caliber artillery systems important for both ship defense in straits, narrows, protected waters, and for repelling the piracy attacks.

The concept and main principles of the reviewed Palma air defense system were elaborated by developers headed by Arkady Shipunov, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with the direct participation of many leading specialists of the Navy and industry.

Nudelman Precision Engineering Design Bureau has developed this system in close cooperation with KBP, Tulamashzavod, Amethyst Design Bureau and other leading enterprises.
The concept of Palma system structure foresaw the follows:
• use of combined armament that includes small caliber rapid-fire guns and small-size high-precision SAM;
• application of high-precision electro-optical control system (EOCS) in combination with shipborne radar station control unit (SRSCU) in backup mode in extremely adverse weather conditions;
• provision of complete automation of combat performance;
• ensuring all-round ship defense by including up to four firing modules (FM) in the system structure;
Palma ADS abroad Gepard 3.9 Ship of Zelenodolsky Shipyard• provision of use this system on the mobilized ships and ashore by means of its own detection radar (DR) and gyrostabilization systems (GSS) incorporated into the base complete equipment and through the development of container-based design version;
• provision of integration with ship-borne DR, GSS and SRSCU in case of use on the Navy ships and boats;
• development of the system with provision for the creation of large modernization potential ensuring a capability of qualitative improvement by the subsequent upgrades.

The developed concept has reflected in the base principles of system construction:

1. As armaments of firing models are used two AO-18KD rapid-fire modernized cannons guns with linkless ammunition feed, increased projectile muzzle velocity and with essentially increased service life, and also highly effective eight Sosna-R light hypersonic SAM.
2. Armament and surveillance and target designation radar are installed directly on artillery mount on "the same axis" to exclude the errors caused by ship strains.
3. For target acquisition according to target designation and for target tracking and armament aiming the system uses the specially designed high-precision ECM-protected automatic EOCS unified with EOCS of SAM Sosna.
4. The structure of EOCS contains a full set of the necessary information channels placed on gyrostabilized platform allowing day/night using and in adverse weather conditions. In extremely adverse weather conditions the system is controlled by 5P-10 shipborne radar control system.
5. EOCS has increased jamming immunity due to using information channels with narrow fields of sight and application of special signals processing algorithms in the automatic control unit of target acquisition and tracking, considering the target signatures. Besides, it is impossible to distort laser spot-beam rider guidance or to flash an optoelectronic sensor of a flying missile by the similar laser beam.
6. High performance of SAM is attained due to high accuracy of missile guidance, circle diagram of proximity fuse, overlapping of guidance errors by engagement zone, and also due to short flight times to the target.
Palma ADS7. High accuracy of SAM guidance is ensured through small errors of target tracking, high accuracy of laser-guidance system, large available lateral g-load of missile and due to application of special control algorithms realized in the microcomputer onboard a missile.
8. High engagement effectiveness of artillery armament is realized due to high accuracy of laying the cannons, small dispersion and a large density of fire.
9. Automatic, inertial and semiautomatic laying modes are realized in a system. High automation of combat performance processes is attained owing to application of modern algorithms, and also due to information processing and decision making system, allowing to exclude the necessity of permanent operator participation in the fast flowing combat performance processes. In the semiautomatic mode which is used mainly in difficult countermeasures environment the system is controlled by operator.
Structurally the firing module is comprised of an artillery mount with gear system and EOCS which structure, in turn, contains the electro-optical tracking system, operator panel, power panel and computing system.

The SAM placed and stored in the transport-launching container (TLC) and launched from it. The missile is developed as maintenance-free and non checkable item, has small acceleration time and is characterized by high aeroballistic efficiency.
The combined control system is used for missile guidance: a smoke-protected radio command system (on launching trajectory); high-precision ECM-protected laser beam guidance (after engine detachment and missile injection into a sight line).
The electro-optical system control (EOCS) ensures the target detection, automatic acquisition, tracking, measuring of angular coordinate and distance, and also laying of an information field of laser-beam control channel to the target at any time in the conditions of jamming and natural noise, including against the background of clouds, terrain features and horizon line.

Structure of EOCS:

1. Gyrostabilized platform where the following units are placed:
Structure of EOCS   • TV system;
   • thermal imaging channel;
   • laser range finder with beam deviation device;
   • equipment of missile control laser-beam channel;
   • thermal imaging channel of missile direction finder;
   • climate control device.
2. Digital computer
3. Control and display panel.
4. Automatic control unit for target acquisition and tracking.
5. Equipment of direction finder on a missile.
6. Analogue control unit.
7. Block of shaft-position encoders.
8. Power supply unit.
Trials of Palma system in full-scale conditions on the ship of Project Gepard 3.9 have confirmed very high accuracy of targeting and have allowed defeating the shown targets by the first missile or by first string of burst. An insertion in an angle of the photo shows the warhead blasting target.

Now our company actively modernizes and expands the potential of Palma system, and also makes efforts to ensure its leading positions in this class of weapons.

Main Technical Characteristics of Firing Module
   artillery two 30mm AO-KD guns with an ammunition load of 1500 rounds
   missile eight SAM Sosna-R
control system automatic EOCS, by shipborn 5P-10 RCS in backup mode
range of target defeat, km 0.2... 10.0 
altitude of target defeat, km up to 5.0 
time from target designation to engagement, s 5.0
weight with ammunition load and secondary power source, t 7.4
Main Characteristics of EOCS
operating modes automatic, semi-automatic, inertial
target detection external target designation, autonomous automated target sector search
range of guidance angles, deg
   azimuth ± 178
   elevation - 20... + 82
max angular velocity and acceleration, deg/s / deg/s2 50 / 150
field of vision, deg
   television system 2.0 х 3.0 / 6.5 х 9.0
   thermal imaging channel 2.2 х 2.7 / 6.7 х 9.0
acquisition range (meteorological optical range = 15 km, PH = 80%), km
aircrafts / helicopters / cruise missiles / armor installations 16...30 / 10...14 / 8...12 / 8
measured distance, km up to 20
accuracy (MSE):
   stabilization, mrad 0.07
   finding of coordinates / distances, mrad/m 0.2 / 5.0
   lazer rangefinder guidance, mrad 0.1
laying of information field of laser beam control channel, mrad 0.08... 0.12
Main Technical Characteristics of Missile
engagement zone, km
   in range up to 10.0
   in altitude up to 5.0
total warhead weight, kg 6.9
contact-proximity fuse laser fuse with the circular diagram
missile weight at launch, kg 30
missile weight in TLC, kg 42
caliber before / after SAM detachment, mm 132 / 72
SAM length, mm
   in fight 2317
   in TLC 2400