76 mm/60 AK-176M (76 mm)

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Description

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Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

The AK-176M is the Russian equivalent of the 76 mm/62 OTO-Melara Compact. It has similar handling to the AK-726 but with half the RPM due to being a single cannon. It has a fast aiming speed both vertically and horizontally, faster than the AK-726 and comparable to the OTO Melara 76/62. As already seen in Russian 76 mm cannons, they tend to be multi-purpose and reliable weapons against all sorts of threats: strong against surface vessels and positively annihilating against airborne threats. One of the main downsides of the AK-176M compared to the OTO Melara 76/62 is the lack of armour-piercing ammunition. It relies solely on HE and HE-VT ammunition, but this should not be underwhelming as they are still very capable of decimating enemy targets.

Available ammunition

The AK-176M has access to the same rounds as the AK-726: the 76 mm HE OF-62 and 76 mm HE ZS-62 HE-VT. Noticing that the proximity fuze on the HE-VT is not triggered when fired at surface targets, this is the recommended round to carry always due to the increased explosive load (from 400 g to 480 g) and the fact is has proximity fuze that can be used in immediate defense against airborne targets. If the OTOMATIC has been used before, you will see that the proxy fuze makes aircraft engaging much easier with the minimal required ammo to fire. This is also shown in with the AK-726 but due to being dual cannon, the explosive damage is doubled and cannot be "exactly comparable".

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
100 m 1,000 m 2,000 m 3,000 m 4,000 m 5,000 m
76 mm HE OF-62 HE* 10 10 10 10 10 10
76 mm HE ZS-62 HE-VT 11 11 11 11 11 11
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
76 mm HE OF-62 HE* 980 5.9 0 0.1 616 79° 80° 81°
76 mm HE ZS-62 HE-VT 980 5.9 0 0.1 739.2 79° 80° 81°

Comparison with analogues

Compared to AK-726:

The AK-176M has a better handling in general, to be expected from a much modern weapon system with reduced power due to having half the barrels. Despite that, the AK-176M is clearly one if not the best 76 mm deck gun seen in game after the OTO Melara 76/62. It should be noted it has a significantly reduced dispersion mainly for the fact it is A) a much modern system and B) a single cannon mount.

Compared to 76 mm/62 OTO-Melara Compact:

The AK-176M is very similar to the OTO-Melara except that it does not have access to armour-piercing ammunition. The fact it carries more ammunition (152 vs 115) makes it a more capable gun in sustained combat despite having a 4.2 x slower firing rate (3s per shell vs 0.7s). However, the lack of armour-piercing ammunition really hits the AK-176M in anti-ship warfare as it is only able to effectively combat lightly armoured vessels and lightly armoured destroyers and frigates.

When talking about just the HE and HE-VT shells, the OTO Melara 72/62 has a much higher explosive payload (nearly double) but has a significant speed loss (925 m/s vs 980 m/s). Both systems do the same purpose with different approaches, one uses a faster round with less payload and the other viceversa.

Compared to 3 inch Mk.33

The AK-176M is overall better than the Mk.33 with exception of the RPM as the ships seen with this system have 2-4 cannons. It absolutely destroys the Mk.33 in terms of firing rate (compared to a single cannon) and the fact it has higher explosive payload for HE and HE-VT. The main downside compared to Mk.33 is that it has access to APHE while the AK-176M does not.

Usage in battles

The AK-176M has very similar handling to the OTO Melara 76/62, a quick firing multi-purpose gun capable of destroying surface targets and annihilating airborne targets. The gun has two different engagement modes which will be described further:

Long range engagements

The fact the gun has a low dispersion and high muzzle velocity, meaning it has a high accuracy, makes it very good at long range engagements. However, sometimes the player may go "happy trigger" and fire salvo after salvo of countless rounds to engage a target. That is exactly what you should not do in long range engagements. Instead, fire in salvos of 2-5 rounds to ensure accuracy and reduce ammo waste. Make sure to not engage with targets past 10 km. Past that range the gun loses tremendous accuracy, it can reach ranges up to 15 km but the optimal is smaller than 10 km.

Airborne engagements:

It is pretty straight forward, detect-designate-track-engage. However, again try to avoid trigger happiness. Reduce ammo waste by firing 2-5 round salvos. Hitting airborne targets is harder than surface targets despite the use of proximity fuze. Make sure you leave a firing gap between your first and second salvo. Example: first salvo of 3 rounds, wait for them to reach the target, confirm if there has been any hit or manoeuvring instead, correct aiming if needed, second salvo of 4 rounds, etc etc etc. The use of tracking radar makes plane hunting easier, but it should be noted that sometimes tracking radars tend to display a somewhat awkward lead indicator. Use it as a guide but do not solely rely on it.

Close range engagements

The story somewhat changes in this matter. The "happy trigger" here is not as backfiring as when in long range, instead, it is actually needed and required in some cases, specially when it comes to point blank defense or inside ranges closer than 1.5 km. Salvos here are not exactly needed or there is a recommended salvo count. Fire at discretion. Be aware! If the gun keeps firing for long, it will overheat!

Airborne engagements:

This is easier but trickier than long range, this is why: when it comes to close range air defense (0-5 km), there is only so much time you have to engage the target before it is too late, make sure you engage them ASAP. The main downside of close range engagements is the fact you have a much smaller correction window as the aircraft is able to fly above you, forcing you to elevate the gun completely and/or rotating to be able to keep him on sights, something that tends to create issues and reduced combat performance as you have your gun out of combat. While it does not take much time to aim once again, it sometimes can be the difference between life and death.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Powerful ammunition
  • Fast firing rate
  • Enhanced accuracy compared to previous systems
  • Comparable to 76 mm/62 OTO-Melara Compact, one of the most feared anti-air systems

Cons:

  • Relies solely on HE ammunition

History

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Media

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See also

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  • reference to the article about the variant of the cannon/machine gun;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

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  • encyclopedia page on the weapon;
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USSR naval cannons
20 mm  ShVAK
25 mm  2M-3
30 mm  AK-230 · 30 mm/54 AK-630 · BP "Plamya"
37 mm  37 mm/67 70-K · V-11
45 mm  45 mm/46 21-K · 45 mm/68 21-KM · 45 mm/89 SM-20-ZIF
57 mm  AK-725
75 mm  75 mm/50 Canet patt.1892
76 mm  34-K · 39-K · 76 mm/60 AK-176M · AK-726 · D-56TS · F-34 · Lender AA gun, pattern 1914/15
85 mm  85 mm/52 92-K · 85 mm/54.6 ZIS-C-53 · 90-K
100 mm  100 mm/56 B-34 · 100 mm/70 SM-5-1 · Minizini
102 mm  Pattern 1911
120 mm  120 mm/50 pattern 1905
130 mm  130 mm/50 pattern 1913 · 130 mm/58 SM-2-1 · B-13
152 mm  152 mm/57 B-38
180 mm  180 mm/57 B-1-P · 180 mm/60 B-1-K
305 mm  12-inch/52 pattern 1907
  Foreign:
40 mm  2pdr QF Mk.IIc (Britain)
47 mm  3 pdr QF Hotchkiss (Britain)