PZA Loara History

The PZA Loara was a short-lived Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Artillery Vehicle (SPAAAV) having only served Polish Land Forces. The system had its origins in the PZA prototype built atop the existing chassis of the T-72M Main Battle Tank and saw local development undertaken in the late-1990s. The prototype was then graduated to the PT-91 "Twardy" MBT chassis, the localized Polish T-72M MBT evolution.

The vehicle fielded a pair of 35mm L/90 caliber Oerlikon KDA automatic cannons (2 x 35x228mm) residing on the sides of a radar-equipped, fully-traversing turret set atop a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement and featured full "fire-on-the-move" capability thanks to stabilization and its particular radar fit. Armor protection came in relatively light (conventional steel being used) and smoke grenade dischargers were noted along the lower front panels of the turret base. The crew encompassed just three - driver, commander, and gunner and power was pulled from a single S-1000 diesel-fueled engine of 1,000 horsepower driving the six road wheels to a hull side. The upper sides of the hull were given protection by way of "skirt" armor panels which also shrouded the top track linkages. The vehicle ran on a torsion bar suspension system which gave good cross-country and road travel performance with on-road speeds reaching a useful 37 miles-per-hour. Due to the persistent threat of biological weapons on European battlefields, a full NBC (Nuclear-Biological-Chemical) suite was carried as standard for the crew.

The Loara was able to operate in daytime and low-level light environments, operating independently or as part of a larger fighting force. Radar was used to direct the Fire Control System (FCS) and was made up of a 3D air-search component coupled to an Ericksson "Eagle" Mk. 1 engagement radar with laser range-finder. TV and FLIR were also standard installations on the vehicle.

All together, these systems gave the vehicle a scanning capability out to sixteen miles, the ability to track as many as sixty-four airborne targets simultaneously, and engage targets as high up as 16,500 feet. Beyond attacking low-level enemy warplanes, the tank could also be used to neutralize helicopters, inbound missiles, UAVs, and ground targets as needed.

Polish Land Forces operated a single Loara example ("Loara-A") for only a short time. This example was withdrawn from service in 2013.

PZA Loara Specification

BASICS

Service Year

2013

Origin

Poland

Status

RETIRED

Not in Service.

Crew

3

Production

1

MANUFACTURER(S)

RADWAR S. A. - Poland

OPERATORS

Poland

ROLES

Anti-Aircraft / Airspace Denial

Base model or variant can be used to search, track, and neutralize airborne elements at range.

Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.

NOTABLE QUALITIES

Track-and-Wheel Arrangement

Vehicle utilizes a track-and-wheel arrangement to provide enhanced cross-country travel capability.

Primary Turret

A modern tank quality, this vehicle sports its main armament in a single turret.

Traversable Main Armament

Armament is situated in a traversing component, allowing for all-around engagement of enemy threats.

Firing On-the-Move

A modern quality, onboard systems provide accuracy to primary armament allowing for firing on-the-move.

Cross-Country Capability

Design includes such features as a track-link system or high ground clearance to better traverse offroad.

Angled Armor

Angled armor at key facings adds inherent ballistics protection to the vehicle.

Armored Skirt

Additional protection to the upper track reaches and roadwheels is achieved by way of addon armored skirts along the sides of the hull.

NBC Protection

Crew is provided (either as standard or optional) protection against Nuclear-Biological-Chemical agents for enhanced survivability in contaminated zones.

Smoke Screening

Vehicle has capability to self-generate a smoke screen, either through launched grenades or built-in engine funtion (raw fuel injection).

Nightvision

Crew has access to night-vision equipment, allowing for low-light or night time operations.

Anti-Aircraft / Air-Defense Capable

System is given an anti-aircraft defense component to protect itself from low-flying aerial threats at range.

Anti-Infantry

Vehicle features an in-built anti-infantry capability for local defense of the vehicle or general troop suppression.

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS

Length

21. 9 ft

6. 67 m

Width

11. 2 ft

3. 4 m

Height

7. 2 ft

2. 19 m

Weight

99,208 lb

45,000 kg

Tonnage

49. 6 tons

POWER & PERFORMANCE

Powerplant:

1 x S-1000 diesel-fueled engine developing 1,000 horsepower driving conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.

Speed

37. 3 mph

(60. 0 kph)

ARMAMENT

2 x 35x228mm L/90 Oerlikon KDA automatic cannons, one gun per turret side. 12 x Smoke grenade dischargers in two backs of six dischargers each.

AMMUNITION

420 x 35mm projectiles (estimated). 12 x Smoke Grenades.

VARIANTS

PZA Loara - Base Series Designation.

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