The SIDAM-25 was a self propelled anti aircraft platform made by OTO Melara during the late stages of the cold war. It’s main purpose was to supply the Italian army with a low cost AA platform based on the M113 APC, which would be slightly modified to properly accomodate the turret and various other instruments vital for it to function. At the time, there was a lack of suitable anti-air defence that would be on par with the what the USSR and its allies had access to. The Italian army was already using the Breda-Bofors and Maxon Mounts which were rather obsolete compared to what NATO would have in service, the German Gepard and the American M163 VADS for example were already widely in service. There had been some contenders on what the next anti air vehicle would be, the Italian army did not shy away from finding solutions by testing several other AA platforms made by Italian and non Italian industries. At one point the Italian army had even trialed the Gepard platform, and although it was more than capable it would not be picked up due to costs. More interestingly OTO Melara had also pitched its OTOMATIC AA platform which was tested for several years but even then they sadly could not get any orders. As such OTO Melara continued to work on this new AA platform, initially they had opted to follow a design trait similar to the Gepard, as in it would only feature x2 cannons. This idea was swiftly dropped in favour of it having x4 cannons. By 1980 its design was pretty much complete with all parties involved giving the thumbs up to manufacture a set of prototypes, which would begin to be trialed by 1983. In terms of armament the SIDAM-25 would get access to x4 Oerilikon 25mm cannons, which were already widely used by many nations around the globe. Although the SIDAM-25’s primary goal was to take out out low flying aircraft, it also had the capability to attack ground based threats in a supportive role when equipped with APDS rounds. The Italian ministry of defence ultimately ended up supporting the SIDAM-25 and started to place orders for the platform. They had quite a few options on what the turret would be based on, it could be mounted on the OTO C-13, Centauro and VCC-80 but they would choose the American M113 which was already built under license by OTO Melara. This was mainly done as it would have improved logistics, easy maintenance and training coupled with the regular flow of parts was advantageous at the time. A large array of modifications had to be carried out including the removal of the single fuel tank replaced with twin tanks either side of the new engine and updated suspension to cope with the increased weight when the SIDAM-25 turret was installed. Overall, it would prove to be a vast improvement over previously used AA systems. Whilst it was undegoing testing certain design features were changed which lead to some notable differences between the prototype and production SIDAM. Despite the initial design being made as cheap as possibile it still proved to be too expensive. The original prototype turret would actually end up being more advanced than the production variant. Notable differences on the production variant included the removal of thermal imagining and IFF (identification friend or foe) which the initial SIDAM-25 prototypes had access to. In retrospect Italy could’ve acquired the OTOMATIC with that money, which although it would lead to less units, it would’ve been great if they went for quality over quantity. In total 276 of such systems were produced from 1985. They’d remain in service for many years but didnt see action. Most of them ended up being put in storage, they would have their 25mm Oerlikon main armament removed to be installed unto the Italian VBM Freccia IFV.
x4 Oerlikon 25mm cannons (ammo includes HEI, SAPHEI, APDS-T)
Thermal and NVD.
IFF (Identification friend or foe)
Why it should be in game
Would prove to be an improved variant of the SIDAM-25 which is currently already in game, although it would be very similar it could still be foldered. Would not be overpowered and would not require a lot of work to model. If Gaijin does not feel like making this a seperate vehicle at least it could still technically be introduced as an upgrade to the current SIDAM.
Museo Della Melara Archives
Il centro addestramento e sperimentazione artiglieria contraerea
OTO Melara SIDAM brochure
OTO 4x25 AA turret brochure
Autoveicoli del l’esercito Italiano V4
M113 in Italia Veicolo Trasporto Truppe e Derivati
SIDAM 25 Manual
JOURNAL OF ITALIAN ARMY 1988 N.2
SIDAM 25 SPAAG 1985
SIDAM 25 SPAAG 1985
Jane's Armoured Fighting Vehicle Retrofit Systems 1993 94 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
SIDAM 25 - Wikipedia
SIDAM 25 - Wikipedia
I discutibili programmi delle Forze Armate italiane nel dopoguerra
Sidam 25-mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun | MilitaryToday.com
OTO-Melara SIDAM 25