ZU-23-2
Overview
 
The ZU-23-2, also known as ZU-23, is a Soviet towed 23 mm anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannon
Autocannon
An autocannon or automatic cannon is a rapid-fire projectile weapon firing a shell as opposed to the bullet fired by a machine gun. Autocannons often have a larger caliber than a machine gun . Usually, autocannons are smaller than a field gun or other artillery, and are mechanically loaded for a...

. ZU stands for Zenitnaya Ustanovka (Russian: Зенитная Установка) - anti-aircraft mount.
ZU-23-2 was developed in the late 1950s. It was designed to engage low-flying targets at a range of 2.5 km as well as armoured vehicles at a range of 2 km and for direct defense of troops and strategic locations against air assault usually conducted by helicopters and low-flying airplanes.
Encyclopedia
The ZU-23-2, also known as ZU-23, is a Soviet towed 23 mm anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannon
Autocannon
An autocannon or automatic cannon is a rapid-fire projectile weapon firing a shell as opposed to the bullet fired by a machine gun. Autocannons often have a larger caliber than a machine gun . Usually, autocannons are smaller than a field gun or other artillery, and are mechanically loaded for a...

. ZU stands for Zenitnaya Ustanovka (Russian: Зенитная Установка) - anti-aircraft mount.

Development history

ZU-23-2 was developed in the late 1950s. It was designed to engage low-flying targets at a range of 2.5 km as well as armoured vehicles at a range of 2 km and for direct defense of troops and strategic locations against air assault usually conducted by helicopters and low-flying airplanes. Development of this weapon into a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) led to the ZSU-23-4 Shilka.

Description

It mounts two 2A14 23 mm autocannon
Autocannon
An autocannon or automatic cannon is a rapid-fire projectile weapon firing a shell as opposed to the bullet fired by a machine gun. Autocannons often have a larger caliber than a machine gun . Usually, autocannons are smaller than a field gun or other artillery, and are mechanically loaded for a...

s on a small trailer which can be converted into a stationary mount for firing the guns. While in this position the wheels are moved aside. The autocannon can be prepared for firing from the march position in 30 seconds and in emergency can be fired from the traveling position. The weapon is aimed and fired manually, with the help of the ZAP-23 optical-mechanical sight which uses manually entered target data to provide limited automatic aiming. It also has a straight-tube telescope for use against ground targets such as infantry as well as unarmored or lightly armoured vehicles. The ammo is a feed by a conveyor belt from two ammunition boxes. Each of the ammunition boxes are located on the side of the twin autocannon and each carries 50 rounds. The fumes created by firing the weapon are partially removed through the side openings in the barrels.

The cannon carriage is based on the earlier ZPU-2 anti-aircraft twin heavy machine gun, which mounted two KPV
KPV
KPV or kpv can refer to:* KPV heavy machine gun* Komi Ziryan language ISO 639 code* Kokkolan Palloveikot, association football club from Kokkola, Finland....

 14.5 mm heavy machine gun
Heavy machine gun
The heavy machine gun or HMG is a larger class of machine gun generally recognized to refer to two separate stages of machine gun development. The term was originally used to refer to the early generation of machine guns which came into widespread use in World War I...

s. ZU-23-2 can be identified by different placement of the ammunition boxes (at right angles to the gun carriage) and by muzzle flash suppressors. In another similarity to the ZPU series, single-barrel and four-barrel versions of the ZU-23 were also developed. However, these versions never entered service.

ZU-23-2 can be towed by a number of different vehicles. In USSR and later Russia the most frequently used towing vehicles for it were GAZ-66
GAZ-66
The GAZ-66 is a Russian 4x4 all-road military truck produced by GAZ. It was the main transport vehicle for motorized infantry of the Soviet Army and is still employed in former Soviet Union countries...

 4x4 trucks and GAZ-69
GAZ-69
GAZ-69 is a four wheel drive light truck, produced by GAZ between 1953 and 1955. From 1954 until 1972 it was produced by UAZ, as UAZ-69, though they were commonly known as GAZ-69s as well...

 4x4 light trucks.

Ammunition

The 23mm AA guns utilizes the same 23x152B case as the wartime VYa
Volkov-Yartsev VYa-23
Volkov-Yartsev VYa-23 is a autocannon used on Soviet aircraft during World War II.-Development:In 1940, A.A. Volkov and S.A.Yartsev created an autocannon called TKB-201 for the new 23 mm round. It was intended to be the primary weapon of the Ilyushin Il-2 ground attack aircraft...

 aircraft cannon, although in steel rather than brass as in the aircraft gun. Due to different loadings and primers the ammunition is not interchangeable, however; ammunition of the anti-aircraft cannon can be identified from its steel casings, ammunition for the aircraft cannon having brass cases instead. The following table lists the main characteristics of some of the available 23x152B ammunition used in 23mm AA guns:
Designation Type Projectile Weight [g] Bursting charge [g] Muzzle Velocity [m/s] Description
BZT API 190 ? 970 Blunt AP steel core, with incendiary charge inside windshield cap. Penetration 15 mm RHA at 100 m range and 30 degree impact angle (from perpendicular), tracer burn time 5 seconds.
OFZ HE 184 19 980 HE fragmentation round with nose fuzes incorporating self-destruct mechanism.
OFZT HE-T 188 13 980 HE fragmentation round with a reduced HE charge due to the space taken by the tracer; tracer burn time 5 seconds.
APDS-T APDS-T 103 none 1220 A Polish sub-caliber armour-piercing round with tracer. Penetration 30 mm RHA at 100 m range and 30 degree impact angle (from perpendicular), tracer burn time >2.5 s.

Service history

ZU-23-2 entered service with the Soviet Army in 1960. ZU-23-2 is often mounted on trucks for use in both anti-aircraft and fire support roles. It can also be mounted on the roof of the MT-LB
MT-LB
The MT-LB is a Soviet multi-purpose fully amphibious auxiliary armoured vehicle which was first introduced in the late 1960s...

 multi-purpose tracked APCs. Specially modified three-legged ZU-23-2 is used in BTR-DG based airborne SPAAG. Cheap, easy to operate and still effective, the ZU-23-2 is still used by the Russian Army
Russian Ground Forces
The Russian Ground Forces are the land forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and required reforms to professionalize the force...

 and by more than 20 other armies. The Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 military nickname for the weapon is Sergei. There are also non-ex-Soviet produced versions of the weapon. One example is the Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 ZUR-23-2TG, which has improved sights and is armed with "Grom" missiles in addition to the autocannons. Another is the Finnish 23 ItK 95, which is often vehicle mounted, like a technical
Technical (fighting vehicle)
A technical is a type of improvised fighting vehicle, typically a civilian or military non-combat vehicle, modified to provide an offensive capability similar to a military gun truck...

.

The type has seen widespread use by both sides in the 2011 Libyan civil war
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

 often mounted on pickup trucks also called technicals.

Soviet Union

  • ZU-23 - Original Soviet variant.
  • ZU-23M - Upgraded Soviet variant. Has new targeting system (which includes laser rangefinder, television channel, optical mechanic device, can be reinforced with thermo location channel and a television system for usage at night) and electromechanic turn system.

Poland

  • ZU-23-2 - Polish designation for basic gun variant. Built under license in Zakłady Mechaniczne "Tarnów" S.A. since 1972.
  • ZUR-23-2S Jod - Polish variant with electro-optical sight GP-1R and twin launcher for "Strela-2M" missiles, used from 1988 (picture).
  • ZUR-23-2KG Jodek-G - Development of ZUR-23-2S with more advanced reflex sight CKE-2 (later CP-1 night-and-day sight with laser rangefinder), electromechanic gun turn system and twin launcher for "Grom
    Grom (missile)
    The Grom is a man-portable air-defense system produced in Poland. It consists of a 72 mm anti-aircraft missile set with a flight speed of 650 m/s, as well as a single-use launcher, re-usable gripstock and thermal battery coolant assembly electric unit...

    " missiles, produced from 2002 (pictures).
  • ZU-23-2M Wróbel - Polish naval version of ZU-23-2, hydraulically powered, produced from 1979.
  • ZU-23-2MR Wróbel-II - Polish naval version of ZUR-23-2S, with Strela-2M missiles and water-cooled barrels, produced from 1986 (picture).
  • Hibneryt - A ZU-23-2 family gun mounted on specially modified Star 266
    Star 266
    -Development history:The design works started in 1968. The first prototypes were ready a year later. Between 1970 and 1973 the vehicle was being prepared to enter serial production which it did in 1973.-Usage:...

     truck, truck is fitted with additional ammunition for the gun and modified electrical installation to power guns electromechanic turn system (gun can also work from batteries).

Czech/Slovak

  • ZU-23-2M2 Vlara - Field upgrade modernization kit. (picture).

Finland

  • 23 ItK 95 - Finnish
    Finland
    Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

     upgrade (picture).
  • SAKO 23 mm/87, a navalized modernization used by Finnish Navy
    Finnish Navy
    The Finnish Navy is one of the branches of the Finnish Defence Forces. The Navy employs 2,300 people and about 4,300 conscripts are trained each year. Finnish Navy vessels are given the ship prefix "FNS" simply short for "Finnish Navy Ship"...

    . Variants 23 M74, 23 M77, 23 M80 and 23 M85. The guns can be removed from M85 carriage and replaced with six Mistral surface-to-air missiles.

China

  • Type 85 Chinese built version of the ZU-23-2 with Twin-23mm guns.
  • Type 87 Chinese upgraded version with Twin-25mm guns.

General characteristics

  • Overall dimensions in firing position
    • Length: 4.57 m (15 ft)
    • Width: 2.88 m (9.44 ft)
    • Height: 1.22 m (4 ft)
  • Weight: 0.95 tonnes (2,094 lbs)
  • Armament: two 2A14 Afanasyev-Yakushev 23x152mm
    23x152mm
    The 23x152B mm used by the USSR/CIS in the VYa-23 Aircraft Gun on the Ilyushin Il-2 ground attack aircraft and in the 2A7 and 2A14 autocannons on the ZU-23 anti-aircraft gun series and ZSU-23-4 "Shilka", among others...

     (.90 in) autocannons
  • Barrel length: 2 m (6.5 ft)/ 87.3 calibers
  • Muzzle velocity: 970 m/s (3,182 ft/s)
  • Projectile weight: 186 g (6.27 oz)
  • Rate of fire
    • Cyclic: 2,000 rounds per minute
    • Practical: 400 rounds per minute
  • Effective range: 2-2.5 km (1.24-1.55 mi)
  • Effective altitude: 1,500-2,000 m (4,921-6,562 ft)
  • Crew: 6

Operators

- 5000 - 60 - 150 - 128 - Type 85, Type 87 - 8 - Type 85 - 220 as Nile and Sinai SP AA Systems and 650 upgraded with radar guidance ZU-23-2 - 198 - 10 - 1100 - 24 - 200 - 523 - 16 - 800 - until 2003
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

, current situation unknown - 2 - 1000+ mostly mounted on M113 APC's for fire support on ground targets and air defense. - 450, most captured by Free Libyan Army
Free Libyan Army
The National Liberation Army , also known as the Free Libya Army, is a Libyan military organisation affiliated with the National Transitional Council, which was constituted during the 2011 Libyan civil war by defected military members and civilian volunteers, in order to engage in battle against...

 and mounted on trucks - 160 - Small number , some mounter on BTR-D - Unkhown number - 150 - 380 Type-87 - 20 - 20 - 5200 - 30 - 408 - 50 - 36 SPAAG mounted on an armoured SAMIL 100 heavy truck (like an oversized "technical"). Captured in Angola in the 1980s. SA Army designation "Zumlac". - 650 - 40 - 5- Testing only - 25 - 200 - 5

Notable appearances in media

The ZU-23-2 appears in the video games Battlefield: Bad Company
Battlefield: Bad Company
Battlefield: Bad Company is a first-person shooter developed by EA DICE for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was released in North America on June 23 2008, followed by a European release on June 26. The game was hinted at just before the release of Battlefield 2, and then announced sixteen months later...

, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by the Swedish firm EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS and Mac OS X systems. It is a direct sequel to Battlefield: Bad Company and is part of the...

 as a towed weapon and also mounted on a variant of the BMD-3.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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