57 mm AZP S-60
57 mm AZP S-60 is a Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 towed, road-transportable, short- to medium-range, single-barrel anti-aircraft gun from the 1950s. The gun was extensively used in Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

, Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

ern and South-East Asian countries.


In the late 1940s, the Soviets started to develop a 57 mm anti-aircraft gun, to replace its 37 mm guns. Three different models were presented, and the winning design was made by V. G. Grabin. According to western intelligence sources, the German prototype gun 5,5 cm Gerät 58 formed the basis for the design. The Soviets were also able to study German 5 cm Flak 41 guns that had been captured following the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...


The prototype passed the field tests in 1946 and was accepted into service in 1950, after some minor modifications. The anti-aircraft gun was given the name 57 mm AZP S-60. Grabin continued the development and fielded the SPAAG version ZSU-57-2
The ZSU-57-2 is a Soviet self-propelled anti-aircraft gun , armed with two 57 mm autocannons. 'ZSU' stands for Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka , meaning "anti-aircraft self-propelled mount", '57' stands for the bore of the armament in millimetres and '2' stands for the number of gun barrels....

 in 1955.

The fire direction device was developed from the German Lambda calculator (Kommandogerät 40, 40A, and 40B) and was called PUAZO-5A. It had also a distance measuring device called D-49. The fire direction was also made more effective by including Grom-2 (10 cm wavelength) radars to the AA-batteries. The whole system was called SON-9. Later on, the calculators would be changed into the more modern RPK-1 Vaza, which had been designed by M. M. Kositskin. The calculator and the radars were transported by Ural 375 trucks.

The 57 mm gun replaced the 37 mm divisional guns in Soviet service in the 1950s. A divisional anti-aircraft regiment consisted of two AA-batteries with six 57 mm guns each. The PVO air-defence troops AA-regiments consisted of four 57 mm AA-batteries (24 guns).

In the mid-1960s, the Soviet divisional anti-aircraft units began replacing their AA-guns with missiles, and by the end of the 1970s, the AA-guns had almost disappeared. However, they were used in many other countries.

Operational history

The S-60 and its Chinese copy (the Type 59) have seen combat in several wars all over the World, e.g. the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 and the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 in the Middle East and the Soviet war in Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

. During the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, the S-60 was the keystone of North Vietnamese low-altitude air defense and was most effective between 460 meters and 1,500 meters.

In Iraq (Iran–Iraq War, Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and Iraq War), the S-60, normally deployed in battalions of 36 guns, served consistently in defense of divisional headquarters and field artillery assets.

Ammunition types

The S-60 fires ammunition in 57x384SR caliber, a cartridge noticeably weaker than the 57mm ammunition of either Bofors 57mm AA gun, or Soviet 57 anti-tank guns of World War II. Modern anti-aircraft rounds have not been developed for the gun - the main characteristics of the Soviet-era ammunition is listed in the table below. In addition to these People's Republic of China manufactures ammunition in 57x384SR caliber, designated Type 59 HE-T, Type 59 AP-T, and Type 76 HE-T.

Training rounds include a blank
Blank may refer to:*Blank, a space where there is nothing at all.*Blank , a thick, shaped stone biface of suitable size and configuration for refining into a stone tool...

 round MK-281 ("Manöver-Kartusche", East German designation), and training rounds with -IN suffix (UBR-281U-IN, UOR-281U-IN) identifying the rounds as fuzeless versions of the APCBC and HE rounds with dummy fuzes and intert filling replacing the explosive cavities.
Designation Type Projectile Weight [g] Bursting charge [g] Muzzle Velocity [m/s] Description
UBR-281/281U APCBC-T 2820 13 1000 Anti-tank round with sharp penetrator, blunt cap and an aerodynamic cover, with tracer and a delayed-action base fuze. Penetration 96 mm RHA at 1000 m range or 106mm at 500m. UBR-281 and -281U are loaded with the same projectile and differ only by details in case mouth and swage grooves.
UOR-281 HE-T 2850 154 1000 Impact-fuzed fragmentation shell for anti-aircraft use. Nose fuze with self-destruct function and a tracer.
UOR-281U HE-T 2850 154
1000 Similar to UOR-281; some sources state the shell is the same as in UOR-281 and the round differs from it only in details of the case mouth and swage grooves (as with the UBR round), while others claim a slightly larger HE filling.
Type 59 AP AP-T ? ? ? Chinese anti-tank round presumably similar to UBR-281/281U.
Type 59 HE HE-T ? ? ? Chinese fragmentation round for anti-aircraft use, presumably similar to UOR-281/281U.
Type 76 HE HE-T ? ? ? Chinese fragmentation round.


  • AK-725: Naval version of the S-60 gun. Introduced in 1958. Mounted in single, double and quadruple mounts (designated ZIF-31) on many early Soviet destroyers.
  • ZIF-72: Naval version which is enclosed in a metal housing and fully automatic. Also exported to India. Introduced in the mid-1970s.
  • ZSU-57-2
    The ZSU-57-2 is a Soviet self-propelled anti-aircraft gun , armed with two 57 mm autocannons. 'ZSU' stands for Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka , meaning "anti-aircraft self-propelled mount", '57' stands for the bore of the armament in millimetres and '2' stands for the number of gun barrels....

    : Self-propelled version with two 57 mm S-60 guns (designated S-68)
  • Type-80: Chinese version of the ZSU-57-2.


The S-60 was sold to at least 37 different countries during the Soviet era. The gun was also license manufactured in Poland by Tarnów Metal Works
Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large scale structures. The term covers a wide range of work from large ships and bridges to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry. It therefore includes a correspondingly wide range of skills,...

 in Tarnów
Tarnów is a city in southeastern Poland with 115,341 inhabitants as of June 2009. The city has been situated in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship since 1999, but from 1975 to 1998 it was the capital of the Tarnów Voivodeship. It is a major rail junction, located on the strategic east-west connection...

Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

Zakłady Metalowe Tarnów w Tarnowie) and in China as the Type 59.
70 units: 400 units: 575 units. Passed on to successor states.: 600 units: 12 units. Nicknamed Nikolai.: retired: 60 units: 12 units: 10 units: 186 units (43 in store): 256 units: Captured units: 24 units: 90 units: 6 units: 2 units: 12 units: 500 units: Passed on to successor states: Both S-60 and Type 59 versions: 675 units: 22 units: 400 units: 120 units: Passed on to successor states: ca 30 units

External links

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