Praga M53/59/70-J-171

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Praga M53/59/70-J-171

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History and Description

The first examples of Praga M53/59 were delivered to Yugoslavia in 1969. In JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army) documents, these self-propelled guns were marked as M53/59. After 1973 new and improved vehicles were introduced into the armament and were designated as M53/59/70 or M53/70 for short. These vehicles had changes to the communication system, electrical installation, and aiming device (M.61). Both models became known in JNA slang by the name Praga. At the end of the 1970s, the Military Technical Institute (VTI) of the JNA in Belgrade began modernizing Praga M53/59/70 SPAAG in order to increase the efficiency of hitting fast aerial targets. In the first modernization project, Galileo J-171 computer-controlled targeting system was installed. The increase in firepower was noticeable: a standard Praga battery of 6 vehicles needed about 2,000 rounds to destroy one target, while with the J-171, 3 vehicles, and 1,000 rounds were enough. A weak point of the Czech Praga M53/59 was also its T912-2 (110 hp) engine which in combination with the vehicle’s immense weight of more than 10 tons could not provide enough power when driving on difficult terrain. In order to overcome that a new, more powerful domestic FAMOS F010A (152 hp) engine, used also in FAP 1314 trucks, was installed.

According to the plans of the JNA, Praga M53/59 was supposed to be modernized in two steps:

  • First (1984-1990); around 720 vehicles were to be fitted with new domestic FAMOS F010A (152 hp) engines as a replacement for the original Czech T912-2 (110 hp).
  • Second (1985-1990): J-171 was supposed to be installed on about 350 vehicles,

The plans were delayed, so engines and J-171 were installed only on part of the vehicles. In the armament plans, priority was given to other self-propelled anti-air projects. The vehicles that were upgraded were put into anti-air regiments together with KUB-M mobile surface-to-air missile systems. In every regiment, there were 2 Praga M53/59/70-J-171 SPAAGs.

Specifications

  • Essentials
    • Length; 6.92 m
    • Width; 2.35 m
    • Height without magazines; 2.59 m
    • Height with magazines; 2.95 m
    • Ground Clearance; 0.4 m
    • Mass; 10,300 kg
    • Crew; 4
    • Six-wheel drive (6x6)
  • Protection
    • Armor; 10 mm (protects from 7.62mm)
    • APS; N/A
    • ERA; N/A
    • Smoke; N/A
  • Mobility
    • Engine; Famos F010A, 112 kW, 152 hp
    • Power/weight; 14.8 hp/t, 10.9 kW/t
    • Transmission; 4 forward and 2 reverse gears
    • Top speed; 60 kph
    • Amphibious; No
    • Gradient; 60%
    • Side slope; 30%
    • Vertical obstacle; 0.46 m
    • Trench; 0.69 m
    • Fording depths; 0.8 m
  • Firepower
    • Main; PLDvK vz.53 2x 30mm gun
      • Rate of fire: 450 - 500 shots/minute
      • Penetration at 10 m: 72 mm
      • Muzzle velocity: 1000 m/s
      • 50-round magazines
      • 600-800 rounds in total
      • Rounds; AP (JPZSv), HE (TO M.69, Yugoslav copy of JFSv)
  • Guidance;
    • Stabilizer; No
    • Vertical; -10° / +85°
    • Horizontal; 360°
    • Rotation speed; 80°/s
    • Zoom; unknown
    • Galileo J-171 ballistic computer
Gallery

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Video

Bosnian Praga M53/59/70 with J-171 (1990s)
https://youtu.be/ly-7RZqpSk0

Sources

https://forum.warthunder.com/index.php?/topic/484882-praga-m5359/
Samohodni PA top M-53/59/70 Praga
M53/59 Praga - Wikipedia
PROTIVAVIONSKI SAMOHODNI TOP 30/2mm - M53/59/70
https://www.mycity-military.com/
PALUBA - Index
Magazine ‘‘Odbrana (Arsenal 08)’’
BOOK: Oklep na Slovenskem by Iztok Kočevar

4 Likes

How would the ballistic computer work? Like a rangefinder, or IRST, or something completely new?

1 Like

I must say im really happy that we sold our Praga to Yugoslavia…they made some nice/crazy modification to it.

In real life, the system greatly increased the vehicle’s firepower but if added to the game it wouldn’t be any different from regular Praga (in terms of firepower). The ballistic computer does not have a laser rangefinder, and Gaijin only adds a lead indicator to those that do have one. A similar thing happened to the Falcon SPAA.